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 next JLAF meeting is on Thursday 30 January 2020. The venue will be the Northumberland National Park offices, Eastburn, Hexham at 1745.  Members of the public would be very welcome to attend the evening session.

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

The dates of 2020 meetings are Thursdays 30 January, 23 April, 16 July and 15 October.

The JLAF will be recruiting for new members for the period 1 May 2020 – 30 April 2022 – look out for further details of how to apply during early 2020 – but if you are interested in membership of the JLAF before this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to-day! We look forward to hearing from you.

About the Forum and how to get involved

JLAF - why not come along to a meeting?


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 byelaws 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

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.


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

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


Following a successful recruitment drive in March 2017, new members were appointed from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2019. Members were re-appointed for one year 1 May 2019-30 April 2020, in April 2018. The next recruitment drive will be early 2020.

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, replacing Cllr Ian Hutchinson, in March 2019 and the National Park Authority representative appointed at their Annual Meeting in July 2019 is Mike Bell who will be shadowed by Fiona Gough.

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

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, North Pennines AONB Access & Recreation Group, National Park Management Plan group, Kielder Forest and Water Park Development Trust Affiliates group etc.

Current Membership 1 May 2017 – 30 April 2020 as at July 2019

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 (Observer Member February 2018)

Stephen Blake (Observer Member February 2018)

Rob Turner (Other)

Mike Bell (NPA representative)

Cllr Catherine Seymour (NCC representative March 2019)

(Resignations: D Rozario, A Shepherd, C Freeman,, P Fisher, R Morris)

Become a member - recruiting in early 2020!

The next recruitment drive will take place in early 2020 for the period 1 May 2020 – 30 April 2022. Look out for further information in early 2020.

Though there will be no formal recruitment in 2019,  any member of the public interested in joining the JLAF may express an interest in membership at any time.

Anyone interested in JLAF membership at any time is welcome to contact Marion or Lorna on 01434 605 555 0r e-mail [email protected].

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