Outside for All Prime Minister?

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The BMC has joined several other outdoor organizations in asking the Prime Minister and Defra Foreign Secretary to state their priorities for access to nature.

A letter has been sent to the Prime Minister, signed by Paul Davies, the BMC’s chief executive, outlining plans to make the outdoors more accessible to more people.

In the letter, 14 organizations actually outlined three main proposals

  • Fair access for all to nature

  • Better opportunities for young people to experience and enjoy nature

  • Investment in people’s well-being and the opportunity to enjoy nature.

One of the key actions the letter calls for is the upgrading of health and wellbeing missions, so that public access to nature is central, and that farmers are rewarded for creating more future opportunities for the public, nature to enjoy agricultural schemes.

dr Cath Flitcroft, Access & Conservation Policy Officer, said: “We call for a clear, ambitious, long-term national strategic plan for outdoor recreation.

“Investing in our green and blue environment will change lives for the better and teach people to become good stewards of the natural world.”

Every day people get active by hiking, horseback riding, swimming, paddling, camping and climbing. It is well known that access to nature has far-reaching benefits, including health and a thriving economy. However, the ability to enjoy the great outdoors is far from equal for everyone and we aim to eliminate those barriers to our green and blue spaces.

The three proposals submitted to Defra Prime Minister and Foreign Minister show a clear path towards a more inclusive nature for all.

  • First, fair, shared access for all to nature means more equitable freedom of movement on land and sea, with more and better-connected spaces close to where we live. Long-term investments in hiking, horseback riding, bike paths, and expanding eco-friendly public transportation would not only benefit people’s health, but also reduce our impact on the climate.

  • Second, better opportunities for young people to experience and enjoy nature must be a priority for future policy. Responsible use of the outdoors needs to be given much more of a focus from an early age and the Countryside Code should be part of an outdoor recreation curriculum.

  • Third, greater investment in people’s wellbeing and opportunities to enjoy nature would promote good health, avoid future costs for the NHS and help build a better quality of life for all. One of the key proposals on this subject involves setting up a fund to support local authorities in creating, improving and promoting green and blue routes in cities and towns.

Organizations that have signed the letter include: British Canoeing, BMC, Ramblers, Open Spaces Society, Living Streets, RYA, Disabled Ramblers, British Cycling, OIA, the British Horse Society, Sport and Recreation Alliance, We Are Cycling UK , Swim England , Hill Training England.

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