New lobby group targets Peak Park

Posted by Tina Gardner on 12/02/2013
New alliance for the Peak District. Photo: Alex Messenger.

A new campaign group will now be fighting on behalf of thousands of adventure sport enthusiasts who flock to the Peak District every year.

The Peak Adventure Sports Alliance has been formed to impress upon the Peak District’s land owners, managers, environmental bodies and the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) that those who climb, soar, cave, canoe, mountain bike and run in the Peak District contribute massively to the area not just in economic terms but also bring a crucial vitality to the National Park.

Founder members of the Alliance include the BMC, mountain bike campaign group Ride Sheffield, Derbyshire Soaring Club, representatives of the fell running, caving and canoeing communities and outdoor education providers who help people of all ages to experience and enjoy this special environment. 

Adventure sports continue to play a fundamental part in the evolution of the National Park and the economic benefits of a vibrant adventure sports scene and the physical and spiritual benefit it brings to hundreds of thousands of people every year must not be underestimated.

The group understands that these are straitened times and that budget cuts are seriously affecting the national parks but feel that too little imagination and campaigning zeal is being brought to bear on the patent underfunding of the PDNPA.  Simply viewing adventure sports as a potential source of income risks eroding the freedom to seek out adventure and enjoyment and could kill the goose that laid the golden egg.  It’s worth noting that the Royal Opera House gets nearly £30m in subsidy and the PDNPA receives only £8m.  Do we have our priorities right?

The group is seeking a meeting with officials from the PDNPA as a matter of urgency.



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Anonymous User
13/02/2013
Attacking the financial aid given to other organisations does not make the case for support of the National Parks and lays one open to more dangerous comparisons; such as against the NHS... The merit, or otherwise, of public subsidy of the Parks must be shown to have intrinsic value and worth to society.

As a starter, we should explain why the Parks need subsidy at all. Indeed, why should they not make a profit? Robust answers to these challenges will help make the quantitative case for any subsidy.

Anonymous User
14/02/2013
mmm, well one difference with National Parks, compared to the 'before' situation, is the number of direct and indirect employees of the Parks management (240 Full Time Equivalent employees, the 4 top management salaries total ~£230,000). There are more community organisations involved with the Parks now than when they were founded; the BMC for instance, founded in 1944, is a different beast to what it was when the Peak District National Park was formed in 1951. Perhaps time to consider reducing the Parks Authorities themselves to provide a much slimmer, oversight function only.
Anonymous User
14/02/2013
First job, tackle off-roaders.
Anonymous User
14/02/2013
How does addressing the issue of 'offroaders' help resolve the issue of reducing Parks Authorities budgets and the resulting cannibalism of assets to fund the Parks Authorities internal budgets?
Anonymous User
14/02/2013
The BMC is an effective and powerful lobbying group in its own right and any involvement or endorsement of another lobbying group should be approached with caution. Who are they, what are their intentions and where's their website ? They haven't even got a Facebook page I could find. Early impression not good.

Simon Lee

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