BMC Manifesto: General Election 2017

Posted by Estee Farrar on 22/05/2017

Ahead of the election on 8 June, the BMC is challenging politicians to recognise the huge value of outdoor recreation in their manifestos and policies, while also understanding the need to protect the special qualities of the outdoors for the benefit of all.

Key Issues for Government Support – General Election 2017

The BMC wants political parties to recognise the huge value of outdoor recreation. We want to see a long-term strategy for outdoor recreation to challenge the epidemic of inactivity. We are calling for politicians to be genuine advocates for the outdoors, protecting our countryside and green spaces from inappropriate developments.

The BMC wishes to see positive measures for the improvement of access and the conservation of our countryside, safeguarded in a long-term strategy for outdoor recreation. Clear benefits for public health are provided by outdoor recreation activities, in addition to economic benefits provided to areas that people visit whilst participating in these activities. 

The three strategic priorities to be addressed in manifestos for the forthcoming general election are:

  1. Promote outdoor recreation:

    • “Get people active outdoors for health and well-being”.
    • Clear long-term strategy is essential for outdoor recreation and recognition of the importance of the industry to physical and mental health.
  2. Support designated areas and protected landscapes:

    • “Safeguard the best of what we’ve got”.
    • Through better planning policies, stronger governance, expansion of protected areas.
  3. Support countryside management:

    • “Continue to support those who manage the countryside”.
    • Ensure that land managers continue to receive financial support post-Brexit; but place conditions on all public subsidy: e.g. public rights of way kept open and easy to use, free of obstacles; open access land open and easy to use; recreation promoted; landscapes and wildlife protected and enhanced.
    • Put mechanisms in place for effective monitoring and enforcement of these conditions.

Future Commitments

The British Mountaineering Council also compels government and all parties to make three specific commitments, for the future:

  1. Commit to continue roll-out of coastal access in England.
  2. Commit to protect funding in real terms for National Parks and designated landscapes.
  3. Lobby Sport England for better funding for recreational activities to assist and enable increased and more diverse participation in outdoor activities.

Read the full text of the document sent to the following politicians:

  • Ben Gummer (Conservatives – Minister for the Cabinet Office)
  • John Godfrey (Conservatives – No.10 team/Director of Policy)
  • David Rutley (Conservatives – Co-chair of APPG Mountaineering)
  • Andrew Fisher (Labour – Executive Director of Policy for Jeremy Corbyn’s office)
  • Christian Moon (Liberal Democrats – Head of Policy)
  • Caroline Lucas (Greens – Party Leader); and
  • All members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Mountaineering

READ: The importance of outdoor recreation in Britain


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