Summit meeting: MPs and mountaineers discuss mountain safety and need for long-term outdoor strategy

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 11/09/2014
Tryfan, Snowdonia, Wales

MPs will take to the hills tomorrow (Friday 12 September) to climb terrific Tryfan and the glorious Glyderau with the BMC on the annual walk of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mountaineering (Mountaineering APPG).

The walk takes place just two days after an important parliamentary debate on ‘Government Policy on Outdoor Sports and Activities’ (download full PDF) and will give MPs an opportunity to discuss the need for a long-term strategy for outdoor activity and review the next steps required to take this forward.

The Westminster Hall debate was secured by MP for Ogmore, Huw Irranca-Davies who will be on the Tryfan walk on Friday. Others donning their hiking boots include John Mann (MP for Bassetlaw), David Rutley (MP for Macclesfield) as well as Nick Kurth (CBE) Chair of the BMC Access Management Group.

Dave Turnbull, BMC CEO said: “The debate on Wednesday has taken us another step closer in ensuring recreation is on the political agenda. On the walk we’ll be able to chat to parliamentarians about what else can be done to support outdoor activities and help increase the number of people taking part in climbing and hill walking. It’s great that there is a real desire amongst MPs, Peers and across the outdoor sector to do more but we still need cross-government support.”

Co-chair of the Mountaineering APPG David Rutley MP said “It is good to see the growing interest in outdoor activities as a positive way to tackle the challenge of physical inactivity and to boost the rural economy. This ‘summit meeting’ will help set out the benefits of establishing a national strategy for outdoor activities and establishing the next steps in this important campaign.”

The meeting will also provide the opportunity to discuss the wider issues of enjoyment of the outdoors and the principle that visitors should take primary responsibility for their own safety when visiting the mountains, in conjunction with more joined-up thinking to improve public awareness on when and how to access mountain skills.

Dr Cath Flitcroft, BMC access & conservation policy officer said “We’d like to see more people tapping into existing opportunities to gain skills and knowledge to explore our mountainous areas wisely, such as our hill skills courses.  There’s lots of expertise within the BMC and other organisations which we’d welcome national park authorities and others to draw upon to help raise public awareness. This is especially important in tourist hotspots such as Snowdon.”

Find out more:

Thank you to all BMC members who wrote to their MPs ahead of yesterday's parliamentary debate. 

The BMC recently called for a well-funded, long-sighted strategy to tackle the problems and risks caused by booming numbers of visitors on Snowdon.

Find out more about the BMC's campaigns and policy work



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