Helping people access the countryside

The Northumberland National Park and County Joint Local Access Forum is an independent body with an interest in public rights of way and access to the countryside in our area. Northumberland National Park Authority works in partnership with Northumberland County Council in the running of the forum.

Please note that whilst meetings of the JLAF are not public meetings,  members of the public are very welcome to attend as observers.  JLAF meetings are also an ideal opportunity for people interested in joining the JLAF to come along and find out what we do. The dates of 2021 meetings are Thursdays 28 January, 22 April, 22 July and 21 October.

The next JLAF meeting was scheduled for Thursday 22 April 2021. However, due to the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions and guidance, the meeting is cancelled.  JLAF members will still be discussing key items via a virtual meeting at a later date in May.

If you have a question you wish to put to the forum for this meeting please contact the JLAF Administrator on [email protected] or [email protected],  preferably within ten working days of the meeting but we welcome questions at any time.

The theme for the JLAF’s meetings in 2021 will be ‘Climate Change and likely impact on Access‘.

The agenda can be viewed under  ‘JLAF Agendas and Minutes’ further down the page.


Find out more about the Joint Local Access Forum.


The forum covers the county of Northumberland and that part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within Northumberland, and gives advice on three main areas:

  • Improving the Rights of Way network
  • Developing strategies for recreation and access which cater for a wide range of people
  • Implementing the statutory right of access to the countryside

Areas of work

The forum has a remit of advising on strategic access and recreational issues generally. The forum’s work will include being consulted on:

  • Draft maps of open country and registered common land prepared by Natural England
  • Preparation of bylaws made by the access authorities that affect access land
  • Appointment of access wardens
  • Directions proposed by, for example, the National Park Authority, Northumberland County Council, Defra, Natural England, Forestry Commission in relation to long term closure of access land
  • Public rights of way improvement plans prepared by the appointing authorities.
  • Others issues as they arise such as access and the health agenda, access and public transport

Current Members

The forum currently has 16 members representing:

  • Users of local rights of way or open access land (e.g. walkers, horse riders, cyclists and carriage drivers)
  • Owners, managers and occupiers of access land or land over which local rights of way subsist
  • Wider interest groups, including rural business, education, tourism, youth work, urban interests, conservation and disability issues, especially relevant to the appointing authority’s area.

Getting involved and how to apply for membership

Members of the public are very welcome to attend forum meetings which, though not public meetings, are open to members of the public.

If you are interested in open access issues and would like to be considered for membership of the forum, attending one of our meetings is a good place start. Anyone between the ages of 18 – 80 can apply to join the forum if they have a genuine interest and some knowledge of the countryside and access issues.

Recruiting new members

A recruitment drive for 2021 will begin shortly. More information will be added to this page from mid-March 2021.

However, you can apply for membership at any time by contacting [email protected] and [email protected]



The Joint Local Access Forum Administrator, Marion Hume, is your point of contact for matters relating to the forum or Lorna Lazzari, National Trails Officer. You can contact Marion and Lorna by:

Telephone: 01434 611 550
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Post: Northumberland National Park Authority, Eastburn, South Park, Hexham NE46 1BS.

Crag Lough in Hadrian's Wall Country, Northumberland, England


Find out more about JLAF membership here.

Current Members

At their meeting on 18 July 2019 the JLAF appointed Amanda Earnshaw as Chairman and Moray Allan and Alex MacLennan as Vice Chairmen.

Northumberland County Council appointed Cllr Catherine Seymour as their representative in March 2019. The National Park Authority representative appointed at their Annual Meeting in September 2020 are Fiona Gough and Marie Fallo (share).

Joint Local Access Forum members represent a wide variety of interests. These include landowning, tourism, education, business, recreation, farming, conservation, ecology, health issues, sustainable transport and accessibility for all.

Members are also represented on forums and groups of a number of other organisations such as the Regional Local Access Forum Chairs group, Local Nature Partnership, Northumberland Coast AONB and North Pennines AONB Access & Recreation Group.

Current Membership 1 May 2017 – 30 April 2021 as at January 2020

Moray Allan – Vice Chairman (Recreational)

Liz Bray (Recreational)

Vic Brown (Recreational)

Amanda Earnshaw – Chairman (Recreational)

Ian Glendinning (Other)

Ted Liddle (Recreational)

Alex MacLennan Vice-Chairman (Land)

Sarah Radcliffe (Other)

Sue Rogers (Recreational)

Violet Rook (Other)

Nick Rossiter (Other)

Phillip Cotton (Other)

Stephen Blake (Observer Member February 2018)

Rob Turner (Other)

Fiona Gough and Marie Fallon (NPA representative share)

Cllr Catherine Seymour (NCC representative )


Joint Local Access Forum Position Statements

From time to time the JLAF will publish position statements.

The latest – A Position Statement on Wind Turbines – was ratified at the meeting of the JLAF on 24 July 2014.


Decadal Review

The Forum is keen to hear from anyone who would like to help them in identifying anomalies with the conclusive map of open country and registered common land within Northumberland. While, given the size of the task, we feel that the Conclusive Map produced by the Countryside Agency was a reasonable first attempt, we feel that errors and anomalies do exist.

Please use the attached form – the accompanying letter explains more about the Decadal Review. Please note – there is a blank page after the letter.

Download the Decadal Review Form