Make a difference to countryside access in the New Forest

walking festival 2014

Published Tuesday 24 March 2015

Members are being sought for the New Forest Access Forum, which gives advice on improving access for walking, horse riding, cycling and other outside recreation in and around the New Forest.

The Access Forum is an independent advisory body made up of volunteers with experience of issues affecting public access to the countryside and coast. It assesses the needs of a wide range of groups that use the Forest, before advising local and national organisations on access issues.

Applications are welcome from anyone who has knowledge or experience in a wide range of areas, including:New forest access forum logo

  • Leisure and recreation
  • Farming and land management
  • Nature conservation
  • Education
  • Health
  • Tourism
  • The needs of young people, minority groups and local businesses.  

The Forum meets four times a year and travel expenses to and from meetings are provided. Members of the Forum are formally appointed for a term of three years by Hampshire County Council and the New Forest National Park Authority.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The work of the Access Forum is essential to the New Forest. Organisations such as the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and the highways authorities value the advice of the Forum as they know it will take into account a wide variety of viewpoints.

‘I would urge anyone with an interest in the improvement of countryside access in the New Forest to consider applying to join the Forum.’

For more information contact Access Forum secretary Vicki Gibbon on 01590 646647 or email

Update: The closing date for applications has now passed.


Notes to editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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