Natural England have begun producing a quarterly newsletter, LAF News for general circulation throughout the LAF membership. Its aim is to keep members up-to-date with national issues and local good practice and is full of local and national examples of good work. Locally there are examples of local land dedication and coastal access success, nationally there are walk leaflets, stories of campaigns and created missing links.
Areas of interest include the presentations made in the annual National Conferences, which include speakers from National Rail, Defra and Lottery Funders.
MENE, the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment, a national annual survey, and managed by Natural England is detailed within these newsletters, with links to local and national findings. There are now 5 years of data examining where people visit and why. Also included are examples of use by Local Nature Partnerships who are using the data to tailor projects targeted to improve health.
The newsletters also include successes within the Paths for Communities (P4C) fund, which was administered by Natural England and aimed at creating new access across the country. Local and national stories are detailed demonstrating local engagement and all aiming to maximise the benefits to all users. The P4C fund is now closed.
One of the speakers at the last Conference were the Ramblers who detailed the findings of their initiative 'Paths in Crisis', where they contacted every Local Authority gauging the spend of RoW budgets nationally. In 2015 the Ramblers are planning the Big Pathwatch with the aim of walking every access route in the country to establish the health of the country's paths.
The big news of course, is the success of The England Coast Path. The route from Sunderland to Hartlepool was the second one in the country opened, and following that Cumbria. At present, the route from Hartlepool to Filey in North Yorkshire is with the Secretary of State, with Northumberland's path under discussion. The latest details of the England Coast path are found in these newsletters.