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The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 requires that 'local access forums' be set up across Scotland to advise local authorities on putting the new legislation into effect.
The Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum (ALOAF) covers the area of Aberdeenshire apart from the Cairngorm's National Park and Aberdeen city.
We advise the local authority on matters relating to the exercise of access rights, delineation of rights of way and core paths. We are also able to offer assistance and mediation to all parties in any dispute about access rights.
ALOAF members are independent of Aberdeenshire Council and represent a broad range of experience, chosen in late 2004 and subsequently, from four fields of countryside interest: recreational use, land management, community use and agency and/or organisations.
The Forum meets several times each year to consider a variety of access topics, for example:
- making the countryside more accessible and enjoyable for non-motorised users, such as: walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and canoeists (on inland water, which is covered by the Act)
- The preparation of the Council's Core Paths Plan
- Offering assistance with the resolution of access disputes within the Forum area
- The development of recreation and access strategies for the countryside, ensuring that they cater for a wide range of people
- The improvement of the rights of way network
All formal meetings of the Forum are open to the public.
The Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum abides by a set of formal Operating Principles: