Salt Line walking route

Have your say on access to the countryside

8 March 2019

If you know your footpaths from your bridleways, then Cheshire East Council wants to hear from you – as it looks to recruit members for a countryside advisory group. 

The Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum offers residents the opportunity to advise the council on public access to the countryside.

The panel has a key role in looking at how the authority, and other local bodies, can improve access to the countryside for a variety of activities, including walking, cycling and horse riding.

The forum aims to encourage and enable public access to the countryside and is a statutory body set up under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. 

The panel also seeks to balance the desire for greater public access to the countryside with the needs of landowners and land managers and to ensure the natural environment is not damaged as a result.  

The forum also gives advice to planners around protecting public rights of way and the needs of walkers, cyclists and horse riders. 

The group must cover a range of interests and experiences, including:

  • Recreational use;
  • Land management;
  • The rural economy;
  • Nature conservation; and
  • Health, transport, heritage and other matters. 

Anyone who has an interest in, and experience of, countryside issues is invited to apply to join the forum.  

Members of the group would be expected to start, and contribute to, discussions about countryside access, and come up with imaginative solutions to any problems they may face. 

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “We are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful rural area and the right of people to get out and enjoy the countryside is vitally important. 

“This is why the forum is so important, and why I would encourage anyone who can give up a little of their time to apply for one of the posts.” 

The group meets four times a year. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 12 April 2019 and interviews will be held in the week starting 13 May 2019. 

For an application form and further information, phone 01270 686059 – or email: cecaf@cheshireeast.gov.uk  

Further information on the Countryside Access Forum is available online.