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Pan-Highland Local Access Forum Conference

Issued: 8 Mar 2007

The second pan-Highland conference of Local Access Forums takes place in Inverness tomorrow (Friday 9th March, 2007).

This conference, held at The Highland Council's headquarters in Glenurquhart Road, brings together 65 representatives of all six Local Access Forums which have been established within The Highland Council area since the Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2003 came into effect in February 2005, together with colleagues from other agencies and adjoining Access Authorities such as the Cairngorm National Park and The Moray Council.

The conference is intended to give Local Access Forum members the opportunity to network and share 'best practice'. They will also hear about the national picture and wider developments with a keynote speech from Andrew Thin, Chairman of SNH on 'Improving Access, Improving Lives' with other speakers representing Scotways, The Scottish Executive, Cairngorms National Park and the Paths for All Partnership.

Part of the conference is also given over to an open discussion about particular access issues in the Highlands looking at 'Progress on Core Path Plans'.

Andrew Thin, the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), said: "This conference has an important role to play in ensuring that we continue to work together to realise the full benefits of some of the most progressive access legislation in Europe.

"Outdoor recreation among some of the world's finest scenery has a major role to play in promoting a healthier Scotland and is available to us all if we behave responsibly.

"Our outdoor recreation resources are a major part of what makes this the 'best small country in the world' in which to live and work, and SNH is committed to ensuring that the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 continues to improve the lives of Scots everywhere, from inner cities to remote hills and glens.

"Scots are not the only people to benefit from this. The Scottish outdoors are the envy of Western Europe, and millions of people arrive each year to enjoy the experience. This conference allows us to build on that foundation."

The six Local Access Forums cover the areas of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, Lochaber, and Inverness and Nairn (excluding the Cairngorm National Park area).

Further information about the Local Access Forums can be found on the Highland Council's website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/leisure/countryside/countrysideaccess/accessforums.htm

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