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. 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/organisations such as River and Fisheries Trust, the Forestry Commission and NHS Grampian.
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
Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum has published it's second report (pdf 441kb) covering Forum activities from 2009 to 2011
The Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum abides by a set of formal Operating Principles.