We want to involve more organisations and individuals in the work and ethos of the group, broadening site visit and workshop attendance and take-up of principles.

VSG is open to organisations or individuals that:

have visitor risk management responsibilities in the countryside or historic built environment or have a role in influencing broad strategic policy on visitor access to the countryside or historic built environment, as defined in this VSG constitution; and

publicly endorse the VSG guiding principles, managing their sites in accordance with them; and

offer and contribute expertise in relevant areas.

New members are admitted following application to the Management Board, and payment of the subscription fee. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they meet the criteria in the constitution.

Member organisation benefits

  • access to all site meetings, open talks, discussions on wider issues held throughout the year and across the full geographical range
  • free electronic copy of VSG publications for internal use by the member’s staff
  • access to members-only area of website where internal documents are shared and debate is encouraged between members
  • an e-newsletter keeping members up to date on court cases of relevance, new publications and other information relevant to the work of the group, including a summary of site meetings for those members not able to attend
  • discounts to attend larger and more widely promoted open seminars or conferences that VSG may choose to put on from time to time
  • access to contacts in all member organisations to share good practice and seek advice
  • eligible to stand for election to the management board
  • right to vote to elect members of management board

Open site and/or presentation meeting

VSG aims to run at least 4 per year, rotated around membership organisations, to look at topics of concern, share good practice and report back on developments. Each meeting may include indoor and outdoor elements. All member organisations are eligible to attend all open meetings free of charge, with a maximum of two places per event (although additional places will be made available whenever possible). Members must book in advance to enable appropriate space, refreshments etc. to be provided. At least one meeting per two year period will include a review of work and budgets, discussion of work plan and developments and an opportunity to share anything not already fitted in to other meetings.

Typical format

Day 1 (usually Tuesday) – Management Board meet at 14.00, with business meeting to 17.30. Overnight stay. Other members wishing to attend Day 2 arrive, if needing overnight stay. (A group networking dinner will be arranged for those attending.)

On occasion, we may offer an additional workshop option on Day 1 afternoon.

Day 2 (usually Wednesday) – Welcome to site or seminar 09.30. Introductory speakers, site visit, meeting back indoors to conclude business, agree further work, take questions. Buffet lunch and networking, depart 14.30, or 16.00 if a workshop continuing through the afternoon.

Additional special events

Occasional open, full day seminars will include speakers from inside VSCG and outside. When a fee has to be levied for such events, members will get a 25% discount on the full cost to non-member organisations.


To be produced at intervals to suit amount of information needing to be shared. E-newsletter is only sent to members and will include new documents, court cases, announcement of programme of meetings, summary of previous open meetings for those not able to attend etc.

Members only area of VSG website www.vscg.org

Our website is currently being improved. It will be relaunched shortly as www.visitorsafety.group, with access to most of the content restricted to members. Currently we provide a members-only forum used to exchange views on member organisations’ issues. These can include documents that members are unwilling to put into public domain, drafts of case studies, case law, and good practice notes; facilitating feedback by all members with access.

Membership contributions

Receipts from members and income from sales of our publications have allowed the group to keep the annual membership fee unchanged for the past eight years.

There are two levels of annual fee, depending on size of organisation:
Larger organisations – £1000, smaller organisations – £500.
VSG does not prescribe the definition of small or large organisations, and leaves it to the judgement of the organisation. (We would be happy to advise what levels of fee comparable organisations typically pay.)

The annual fee is payable from 1st April. New members are required to pay, on joining, a proportionate fee for the remaining months to 31 March.

VSG funds are subject to audit and held in a single, separate account by one of our members, currently Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland.

Management structure

The group is run by a Management Board, Chairperson and Secretariat.

A Management Board of no more than nine member organisations, elected by its members, directs VSG. A minimum of five are needed at management meetings to enable decisions to be made on behalf of VSG as a whole.

Member organisations are elected to the management board for a three year term but can stand for re-election each time. Three positions on the management board will be elected in December each year.

VSG member Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland has been appointed to provide a secretariat service for a three-year period from April 2020.

More detail about the roles of chairperson, board members and secretariat is provided in the download.

Download: VSG_Members_information_June2020.pdf

You can apply online for VSCG membership.

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