Summary Note of Annual Joint Meeting of National Access Forum and Local Access Forums
17 March 2017
Chair: David Henderson Howat (Convenor, National Access Forum)
Opening – David introduced himself as the new convenor, and welcomed everyone. In a brief introductory exercise, delegates chatted and noted their key topic of interest for the day. These are recorded in annex 2 below.
Morning theme: Enjoying the Outdoors with Dogs
Speakers - Stephen Jenkinson, Kennel Club Access and Countryside Advisor - ‘Promoting the good: minimising the bad’
Dr Fiona Fylan, Brainbox Research Ltd. -
‘Getting dog owners (and their dogs) more active in woodlands’
Theresa Kewell, SNH -
‘Promoting responsible dog walking on National Nature Reserves – a project researching ideas, trialling practical solutions and training Followed by discussion on dogs in the outdoors.
New “Outdoor Access Design Guide” launch – John Duffy, Paths for All - revised version of the design guide on outdoor infrastructure like gates, boardwalks, ramps, fences, seats, etc.
Afternoon theme – recognising successes for all on the ground Quick-fire reports on real-life positive initiatives around Scotland:
- St. Fillan’s Group - Kenny Auld LLTNP
- Community Paths Groups - Roxanne Kerr, Paths for All
- Kinneil Estate cycling routes – Angus Duncan
- Smarter Choices Smarter Places – Andrea Partridge, PfA
Copies of any of the above presentation powerpoints can be emailed on request to the NAF Secretary.
Open Issues group sessions – small group discussion sessions to share participants’ queries and interests (see annex 2). Key points reported -
a) Dogs: all about turning difficulties into opportunities / material on SNH website / lack of knowledge over picking up and disposing of dog poo / dog-friendly tourism.
- lots of opportunities, how do you make connections and find people? / networking events / community planning, community groups / swapping emails addresses for longer term contacts / use local councillors, as conduits in both directions / Community Sports Hubs / Town Centre re-generation groups / links within Council departments.
- SOAC possibly a bit dry? / re-boot, using social media / resources - more hand-out materials needed / use partnerships and events / run safety days in schools / run training events eg. on John Muir, and on SOAC / work via target groups.
- Legal – discussion on s14 notices, how to phrase, which parties to serve on / how to deal with landowner refusals (but that can be their prerogative) / s27 Guidance is currently being updated, due for public consultation shortly / a consensus view that it is perfectly valid to use s11 orders over non-motorised events, eg large orienteering or mountain bike events.
- Funding – needs a higher level national push for resources from health and transport to be applied eg. to core paths, possibly as a statutory duty? / promote the benefits of the access officer functions / make the annual returns data on activities more widely published and distributed – possibly through NAF?
In closing, convenor thanked all the speakers and those who had helped organise a successful and positive day.