Getting active outdoors is the nation’s favourite pastime

Posted by Tina Gardner on 11/06/2014

A report by the Sport and Recreation Alliance reveals that getting outdoor recreation is the UK’s favourite pastime, with three in four adults in England regularly getting active outdoors.

The Reconomics report brings together all the existing information, research and evidence relating to the impact of outdoor recreation and provides a compelling case to politicians of the true value of outdoor recreation.

Reconomics reveals that:

  • people spending their day enjoying outdoor recreation spent £21 billion in 2012/13
  • walking tourism alone supports up to 246,000 full time equivalent jobs
  • outdoor recreation can make a significant contribution to tackling the £10 billion cost of physical inactivity.

It contains a case study on the mental health benefits of climbing featuring BMC member Jake McManus.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance believes that the case for supporting outdoor recreation is irrefutable given the the contribution the outdoors makes to the health, wealth and happiness of the nation.

SRA Interim Chief Executive, Sallie Barker, wants to see the government take action to support outdoor recreation, saying:

“Outdoor recreation is a way of life for the millions of people across the UK who can’t wait to down tools at the end of a working week and get outside.

“Actions speak louder than words, and that’s why we want to see a long-term strategy for outdoor recreation with a single Minister taking responsibility for making it happen.

“The Reconomics project was conceived after consultation with our members who wanted to be able to make the case to government for their activities. Reconomics does just that and is now a powerful tool for the sector to use in gaining recognition for its hard work.”

Dr Cath Flitcroft, BMC policy officer said: “Climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are popular outdoor activities with proven health benefits which can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The BMC along with SRA and other outdoor organisations must continue to press for the benefits of outdoor recreation to be embedded in future Government policy and legislative proposals. 

“Today we are bringing together ten leading outdoor organisations to meet with MPs and peers in Westminster to do just that. Given the wealth of facts published in the Reconomics report, there is now a clear case to ingrain outdoor recreation throughout policy to benefit the health and wealth of the nation.”

The outdoor organisations are joining together to urge parliamentarians to factor the benefits of outdoor recreation into their manifestos and policies ahead of the next general election and highlighting six key proposals for government action.

Find out more

  • Download the Reconomics report at www.reconomics.works. It is presented in three forms - a report, an academic resource pack and a set of case studies
  • Get started in climbing, hill walking and mountaineering



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