Cyclists on the shoreline

Lake District Local Access Forum

What is the Lake District Local Access Forum?

 The Lake District Local Access Forum (LAF) is made up of local people  from all walks of life who are interested  in how access to the countryside is developed throughout  the National Park.

The LAF was introduced as part of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and has been in place since 2004. The Forum's purpose is:

  • To advise the Lake District National Park Authority on the improvement of public access to the National Park for open air recreation and enjoyment of the area.
  • In carrying out its work, the Forum will consider the needs of land management and conservation of the natural beauty of the area.

 What does the Lake District Local Access Forum advise on?

  •  The management of access land
  • Applications received for longer term suspension or restriction of the right of access
  • Woodland proposals on access land
  • Access for all in the countryside
  • Local byelaws
  • The Cumbria Countryside Access Strategy
  • Broader aspects of countryside recreation

Tasks include:

Advising the Lake District National Park Authority on the management of access land as defined in Part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.

  • discussion of long term closures of access land in connection with matters such as land management, nature conservation, fire risks and crises such as Foot and Mouth disease.
  • Providing major input to the preparation and review of Cumbria's Countryside Access Strategy
  • Responding to consultations on access-related matters from Defra, Natural England, Cumbria County Council and other bodies.

Vision and Mission of the Lake District Local Access Forum

Vision: The Lake District National Park is a place in which visitors and local people can share the exploration, enjoyment and understanding of the diversity of the National Park’s countryside and heritage. The provision of access will be clear to understand, be respectful of land ownership and management, meet users’ particular needs and promote responsible and harmonious behaviour. It will make an increasing and positive contribution to the sustainability of the Lake District’s environment, communities and economy.

Mission: The Forum will act as the statutory independent body which will champion the improvement and management of access, according to authority granted by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. It will accurately and objectively gather the views of all those with an interest in the development and use of access and advise the National Park Authority, recommending options for the improvement of public access to land in the National Park.


The Forum can only do its job if local people share their ideas and concerns about access in the National Park with the members. Members sign up for a three year term and a number of people have just finished their stretch so we are after some new blood!  If you  think you might be interested please have a read of the members information pack below and  get in touch with the Local Access Forum members by emailing we will contact you back. You can be sure of a fair hearing for your views and comments because the Forum:

  • Is a balanced group which avoids being dominated by single interests.
  • Is representative of all interests, including recreation use, land management, nature conservation, tourism and business, transport, education, access for all and health.
  • Holds meetings in public every four months

Useful Information

Contact us

David Robinson
Lake District Local Access Forum
Lake District National Park Authority
Murley Moss
Oxenholme Road
Kendal LA9 7RL

Tel: 01539 702698 ext. 2735