MPs Spend Day In Hills To Become Outdoor Champions

Local MP, David Rutley, took a group of Parliamentarians to the hills recently to walk the Carneddau Horseshoe in Snowdonia, alongside representatives from the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), on the annual walk of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mountaineering (Mountaineering APPG).

Eight MPs, including David, who is co-chair of the Mountaineering APPG, were joined on their walk by BMC president Rehan Siddiqu, BMC access officers and colleagues from the Ramblers and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The BMC represents a growing membership of over 80,000 keen climbers, mountaineers and hill walkers, and the walk provided the opportunity to discuss the wider benefits of outdoor recreation with Parliamentarians.

The walk, which took place on 16th September, came three days after an important Parliamentary Sports Fair, where numerous sport and recreation All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) came together to promote sport and recreation activities to Parliamentarians, with the aim of encouraging them to become grassroots ‘champions’ in their own constituencies, and providing them with the relevant motivation, contacts, tools and information to do so. The Mountaineering APPG and Sport APPG recently published a leaflet ‘How to Champion Outdoor Recreation in your constituency’ to help Parliamentarians do exactly that. 

Dr Cath Flitcroft, BMC access & conservation policy officer said: “The day in the hills was an opportunity to highlight to Parliamentarians the need for continued political support and investment in outdoor activities and our existing rights of way and open access network. We also talked about the need for greater public understanding and awareness of where people can go in the countryside and what they can do, which will help improve the number of people visiting and exploring our hills, mountains, coast and countryside.”

After the walk, David said: “It’s vital to help get more people off the sofa and become more active outdoors. The health and well-being benefits are clear, and this will also create a real boost to rural tourism, particularly in places like Macclesfield. Encouraging Parliamentarians to become Outdoor Recreation Champions in their own constituencies is a great way to support this vital initiative.”