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Moray Local Outdoor Access Forum searches for new members


By Jonathan Clark

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THE Moray Local Outdoor Access Forum, which advises the council on outdoor access matters, is searching for new members.

The forum represents landowners and managers, as well as outdoor access users, and is looking for three people to join the team.

Anyone with an interest in the outdoors, who wishes to contribute to the development of access opportunities in Moray, is invited to apply for one of the voluntary roles.

Moray Local Outdoor Access Forum (MLOAF) convener Terry Ballard described membership of the group as being "rewarding".

He said: "The forum provides a unique platform to balance the needs and interests of local communities, groups, landowners and individuals.

Terry Ballard, Moray Local Outdoor Access Forum convener, and Stephen Reeves, eDF Renewables Access Ranger, in front of Dorenell Visitor Centre.
Terry Ballard, Moray Local Outdoor Access Forum convener, and Stephen Reeves, eDF Renewables Access Ranger, in front of Dorenell Visitor Centre.

"Membership of the forum is very rewarding, enjoyable and challenging.

"It is great to see people coming together from contrasting backgrounds, with differing perspectives, and, through mutual understanding, devising creative ways to improve outdoor access in Moray.”

MLOAF was set up by Moray Council in 2006 but is an independent body.

It takes an active interest in promoting responsible access to the countryside, whether by the use of footpaths, cycleways, rivers or lochs.

The forum seeks to reach agreement between a wide range of interested parties in an effort to reduce conflicts.

It has been involved with many issues, including wind farm developments that affect access opportunities, Core Paths planning and review and upholding public access rights.

eDF Renewables' Dorenell Wind Farm in the Cabrach is a good example of co-operation between developers, local communities and access users.

In this case, MLOAF worked with the developers to produce an Access Management Strategy which addressed access issues during the construction phase. Post-construction, the forum addressed the upgrading of footpaths and, most notably, the provision of a visitor centre staffed by two rangers.

To apply to become part of MLOAF, contact Ian Douglas, Moray Open Space, Access and Policy Officer at ian.douglas@moray.gov.uk.

Membership will last three years, with members expected to attend about five meetings per annum.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday, March 22.


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