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Local Access Forum

Local Access ForumThe South Downs Local Access Forum (SDLAF) advises the National Park Authority and others on how best to manage access to the countryside in the National Park. It is an independent statutory body with seventeen members who represent the views of recreational users, land managers and others with an interest in countryside access. The main function of this group is to look at how the public rights of way network and access land is managed and improved. Forum members will also be asked to comment on broader access, transport and countryside subjects.

A Local Access Forum is a statutory body and, by law, the organisations that they give advice to must have regard to that advice.

A Local Access Forum needs to have a range of members that reflect the views of both land managers and recreational users of the countryside. The forum may also have members who represent the interests of conservation, tourism, people with disabilities, transport or other interests.

The function of the Local Access Forum is to advise on the improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area.

In carrying out its functions, the Local Access Forum shall have regard to;

  • The needs of land management
  • The desirability of conserving the natural beauty of the area for which it is established, including the flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features of the area

The minutes of the South Downs Local Access Forum can be downloaded from the previous meetings section below.

Next Meeting:

Covid-19 Update 

Following the most recent Government advice, we have cancelled the next two upcoming meetings of the SDLAF and will be reviewing all upcoming meetings.  We will update this page as soon as possible with further information. We thank you for your patience at this challenging time.

Forthcoming Meetings, Location TBC;

Monday 20th April 2020; 10.30 – 1pm – CANCELLED

Wednesday 22nd July 2020; 10.30 – 1pm – CANCELLED

Wednesday 21st October 2020; 10.30 – 1pm – TBC


Minutes of previous meetings

Minutes from all previous LAF meetings can be found on the Minutes of previous SDLAF meetings page.

Annual Report

This brief report provides an insight into the activities of the Forum over the last eighteen months. A wide range of outdoor access related topics have been considered at LAF meetings and strategic advice has been given to both local and national organisations. The SDLAF has made representations concerning access at two public inquiries and undertaken site visits relating to improvement works on shared use paths.

Current Consultations

  • None

Terms of Reference

The South Downs Local Access Forum has Terms of Reference which sets out its purpose, membership, administration and voting procedures.

The South Downs Local Access Forum has also agreed its principles for aiming to reach consensus in making decisions about the advice it gives.

Governance at SDLAF Meetings – Consensus Aim

Further information

Local Access Forums were created by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. For information on the regulations that govern how they are set up and run, as well as government guidance on how they work and what they do, visit Natural England’s Local Access Forums webpage.