Over 18 MPs and peers attended our successful parliamentary event yesterday to hear from ten leading outdoor organisations about the social, health and economic benefits of outdoor recreation.
Outdoor organisations, collectively representing over six million people with an interest in outdoor recreation and the conservation of our countryside and green spaces, joined forces at Westminster at the event which was hosted by the BMC and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Mountaineering, co-chaired by David Rutley MP and John Mann MP.
MPs and peers from all three main political parties were able to circulate and chat to each organisation to learn more about the joint six key proposals for government action on the outdoors ahead of the next general election.
Nick Kurth, chair of the BMC Access Management Group opened the event by welcoming the ten outdoor organisations who signed up to the key proposals: Campaign for National Parks, English Outdoor Council, Living Streets, Open Spaces Society, Outdoor Industries Association (Britain on Foot campaign), Ramblers, Sport and Recreation Alliance, Wild Network and the Youth Hostel Association.
Importance of outdoor recreation
David Rutley MP for Macclesfield also gave a speech about the importance of outdoor recreation, the activities of the APPG for Mountaineering and his plans to call for another parliamentary debate on the subject in the coming weeks.
The end of the event was marked with the return of APPG Mountaineering members Greg Mulholland (MP for Leeds north west), John Mann (MP for Bassetlaw) and Tracey Crouch (MP for Chatham and Aylesford) who had flown back that afternoon having tackled one of the world's highest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi, in Equador, for the Royal British Legion. Read more.
Other MPs who attended included: Nic Dakin MP for Scunthorpe (Labour), Andrew Bingham MP for High Peak (Conservative), Huw Irranca-Davies MP for Ogmore (Labour), Derek Twigg MP for Halton (Labour), Dan Jarvis MP for Barnsley Central (Labour), Meg Munn MP for Shefflield Heeley (Labour / co-op), Roger Williams MP for Brecon and Radnorshire (Liberal Democrat), Robert Smith MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (Liberal Democrat), David Amess MP for Southend west (Conservative), Barry Gardiner MP for Brent north (Labour), Lord Alan Haworth, Lord Frank Judd, Baroness Kathryn Parminter and Lord Marlesford.
The BMC and other organisations will be working with various MPs and peers to help ensure the key proposals make their way to the policy teams working on each of the political party manifestos. We want to see tangible measures to increase, improve, maximise and strengthen policies on outdoor recreation and the conservation of our countryside.
The BMC will also be working with its own members to lobby their local candidates ahead of elections so that more MPs and councillors understand the value of hill walking, climbing and mountaineering.
The APPG for Mountaineering will meet again in September for its annual walk, this time in north Wales. With more than 10 MPs signed up already it will provide another good opportunity to raise the profile of our work in parliament.
The BMC is also keen to hear from any MPs who would like to try climbing or hill walking. Recently the BMC took Jasmin Qureshi MP climbing at Manchester Climbing Centre.
Find our more:
Read the Reconomics report from the Sport and Recreation Alliance highlighting the economic impact of outdoor recreation.