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Exmoor Local Access Forum

Chair:   Alison Kent (Independent Member of the Forum)

Vice Chair: Chris Binnie (Independent Member of the Forum)

Authority Representatives: Mr Robin Milton & Mr Martin Ryall

The Exmoor Local Access Forum is an independent statutory advisory body set up by Exmoor National Park Authority in 2002 under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.  It held its first meeting in February 2003.  The Forum's purpose is to advise the National Park Authority, Natural England, the two local highway authorities covering the area and other statutory bodies about improvement of public access to land for open-air recreation and enjoyment.  In providing advice, the Forum must have regard to the needs of land management and conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape.   The Forum meets twice a year and its membership includes two representatives of the Authority.

Forum MemberInterests
Alison Kent (Chair)

Alison Kent worked as a Ranger for Exmoor National Park Authority for 15 years with specialist knowledge of Rights of Way and access issues.  Alison is also a member of Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management.  Alison joined the Local Access Forum in 2009.  

Currently, Alison is British Horse Society Access Officer and Chair of West Somerset & Exmoor Bridleways Association. Has lived in Somerset for nearly 40 years on a 30 acre small holding, stocked with cattle, sheep and horses!

Alison likes walking with her dog as a companion on long distance paths and National Trails throughout the UK.   Alison is keen to see that everyone has an opportunity to experience and enjoy the special qualities that Exmoor has to offer.

Chris Binnie (Vice)

Chris grew up on an Exmoor farm and rode the moor extensively. He now lives in the same house in the Porlock Vale. He is a Past Chairman of the West Somerset & Exmoor Bridleways Association. He used to lead 3 day stay away rides across the moor. He is now a sheep farmer, a Commoner on Dunkery, a Trustee of the Exmoor Society, and leads walks across the high moor.

George CurryGeorge has lived and worked in North Devon for 50 years. He and his wife, Sara, would spend every weekend walking and wildlife watching on Exmoor and so, on retiring from his role as CEO of a training and employment charity, they moved to Barbrook. His work with long-term unemployed, many with mental health problems, made him aware of the therapeutic benefits of walking in the countryside. George therefore has a special interest in access to Exmoor for disadvantaged individuals.  He has a deep interest in climate change and sits as an advisor on the Barnstaple Town Council Climate Emergency Working Group. George is currently involved in setting up a similar group in Lynton.
Graham Lavender

Graham represents users of rights of way with a specific interest in the conservation and enjoyment of the rich flora of Exmoor. His interest in plants includes promoting education and understanding by leading several guided botanical walks on Exmoor each year. Graham also volunteers, surveys rights of way with his wife and reports any broken furniture or issues discovered along the route.

Kate O'Sullivan

Kate walks and regularly horse rides on Exmoor. The family farm has rights of way passing through the land, so she represents the interests of those landowners with rights of way and the users of the rights of way.

Martin RyallExmoor National Park Authority Member. Martin farms sheep and beef cattle on the west side of Exmoor, is interested in all aspects of life on the moor and is a keen dog walker.
Mike Wilson SmithMike has had a long affinity with Exmoor, initially through family holidays and now as a resident. He is a keen walker, an activity he shares with his dog, and enjoys both the coast and countryside paths and views that Exmoor offers. His love of birds is also enhanced by the environment of Exmoor, which offers benefits even at home. He runs a hospitality business and welcomes visitors from home and abroad into Exmoor.
Peter May

Peter grew up on 1500-acre farm in Oxfordshire and his first job was with an Agricultural Engineers in West Somerset. Peter has a love for the great outdoors from hill walking, cycling and mountain biking on Exmoor and the Quantocks. He has competed in the Exmoor Ironman 70.3 five times. Peter is also an instructor for the Dave Thorpe Honda Adventure Centre which runs motorcycle training and rides over Exmoor weekly, during the season.

Peter joined the Exmoor Land Access Forum to encourage and develop the use and enjoyment of our beautiful moor for everyone. Peter is also the Rights of Way officer for a local motorcycle group

Robert Billson

Robert is a retired Chartered Surveyor and moved to Exmoor 12 years ago. Robert is a horse rider and joined the Forum three years ago with a view to learning more about Exmoor and to continue his longstanding interest in preserving public rights of way and rights over Access Land. Robert has enjoyed discussing access with other like-minded members. 

Robin MiltonRobin has been an Exmoor National Park Authority Member since 2010 initially as a Secretary of State appointee and now as a Parish appointee. Robin is an Exmoor farmer with land both in and out of the National Park as well as moorland grazing on both Withypool and Anstey commons keeping sheep, cattle and Exmoor ponies.

As a landowner, Robin has experience of having rights of way, open access and has a permitted path that carries part of the Two Moors Way route on his farm. Also, Robin has been involved with the NFU and CLA, which has been a useful experience in terms of rights of way and access.
Simon Gibson

Simon has been a farm manager for the last 28 years working on many different types of farm in the UK. Simon has always worked in areas with public access and is keen to see access and farming working happily together. Simon is particularly interested in educating others about countryside issues and food production. Currently Simon manages the Lee Abbey Estate at Lynton. Previously, Simon was the Chair of the Essex LAF when it was set up in the early 2000s.

Ueli Zellweger

Ueli is originally from Switzerland and started visiting Exmoor over 30 years ago. After a busy life as vet surgeon working in his own practice, he moved to Exmoor in 2004 and now lives in a hamlet near Winsford. His interests are in landownership, public rights of way, ecology, conservation, aquatic life. Ueli  also appreciates, Exmoor's special qualities; the tranquility of the place and the beautiful landscapes. Ueli’s hobbies include fly-fishing, horse riding and taking the dogs for walks.