MP Launches New National Report on Outdoor Recreation

David Rutley, local MP for Macclesfield, joined representatives from the Sport and Recreation Alliance, and other local and national sport and recreation organisations, on 3rd February at the national launch of Reconomics Plus at Macclesfield Town Hall. Participants included: British Cycling, Ramblers, British Mountaineering Council, British Orienteering, British Canoeing, Active Cheshire, Macclesfield Wheelers, and Breeze.

Reconomics Plus is an online resource designed to help champion the value of outdoor recreation to the economy, our physical health and mental wellbeing, and the creation of strong local communities. This new resource brings together the latest research and statistics to highlight the contribution of outdoor recreation in England, while demonstrating how the sport and recreation sector can provide meaningful and cost effective solutions for some of the major challenges facing the nation.

Produced in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, Reconomics Plus will help prompt Government departments to seek cost effective, preventative responses to issues such as improving health and strengthening local communities. The report highlights that outdoor exercise delivers an estimate £2.2 billion of health benefits to adults in England each year. It also sets out that £11.8 billion is spent on trips involving outdoor recreation annually, which acts as a real boost to rural tourism.

Emma Boggis, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “Our local parks, lakes, rivers and beaches are some of the nation’s best environments to get active. Outdoor recreation can take place across urban and rural areas and many of our members deliver programmes to encourage people of all ages to get active in the local environment. We have created Reconomics Plus to serve as an evidence bank to help us collectively raise the profile of outdoor recreation to national and local decision makers. It should be used to inform conversations on how outdoor recreation can be embedded across Government strategies, including those on physical activity, health, education and the environment.”

Speaking at the launch, David said: “I know from activities in Macclesfield that outdoor recreation helps improve physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as making a substantial contribution to the rural economy. As co-chair of the Mountaineering All Party Parliamentary Group, I was pleased to play an active role in the successful campaign to include outdoor recreation in the Government’s new sports strategy. We must continue to work together to champion the many benefits of outdoor recreation and reinforce the role it can play in supporting the economy and tackling some of the nation’s biggest health challenges.”