The Tees Valley Local Access Forum

Welcome to the Tees Valley Local Access Forum.

We are an independent group covering the boroughs of Hartlepool, Stockton-On-Tees, Middlesbrough and Darlington. Our main purpose is to advise Local Authorities on how to make the coast and countryside more accessible and enjoyable for recreation whilst at the same time taking into account environmental, social and economic interests.

The Forum works closely with four Rights of Way Officers – One Officer is based within each Local Authority.

We are helping to shape initiatives in the Tees Valley, such as River Tees Re-discovered Landscape PartnershipDiscover Brightwater and the Teesdale Way.

We're lucky in the Tees Valley to have the England Coast Path pass through our area. The Rights of Way Officers from Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton-On-Tees have been working in partnership with Natural England to successfully open our stretch of the England Coast Path. The stretch between North Gare and Sunderland was successfully opened on 2014. The newest section to be completed is between Newport Bridge and North Gare – this was officially opened September 2019. Though this is a relatively small section to be opened it is the final link which will connect the England Coast Path from Filey (North Yorkshire) to Amble (Northumberland).

In 2017 the Forum was involved with a pilot project 'Traffic Lights for Dogs'. This was a project designed to reduced 'Sheep Worrying' on a farm in Hartlepool. The Project was successful in reducing sheep deaths and has since taken off in other areas of the country. Signs showing a traffic light system of when it is safe to let dogs off their lead, when they need to be on the lead and at specific times when the farmer would prefer people to use a diversion. The farmer changes the signs depending on the needs of his sheep. 

We are currently looking for new members with new ideas on how to improve access in our area – please see the Members tab or our Facebook page for more info.