The Countryside Alliance has told a Government inquiry how taking part in rural activities such as fishing, hunting or shooting sports has shown to provide a positive impact on social mobility, education, health, and community engagement.

The Countryside Alliance submitted written evidence on the positive role rural sports can have as part of an inquiry into the social impact of participation in sport by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

Our evidence outlined the benefits from our charity arm, The Countryside Alliance Foundation which has introduced thousands to the countryside and enabled many young people who get few life chances to participate in positive outdoor rural activities. The Foundations three key projects: Fishing for SchoolsFalconry for Schools and Casting for Recovery all demonstrate that positive engagement in rural activities can improve health and educational attainment.

In addition to this we also outlined the benefits of shooting and its associated activities such as beating, picking up or manual work and how they contribute to the wellbeing and health of those who take part. Hunting also plays a key role in many communities. The majority of hunts organise social activities which can include a point-to-point or a quiz night, while a hunt meet itself gives people in the community a chance to come together.

Countryside Alliance, Head of Policy Sarah Lee, commented: “The Countryside Alliance welcomed this inquiry as we believe that rural sports and outdoor activity are increasingly being recognised as important for their contributions to our physical, personal and social wellbeing.

“We actively encourage participants of our Foundation projects to continue fishing or shooting by introducing them to what is happening in their local areas, putting them in touch with clubs, and our instructors provide informal post course mentoring. Activities such as hunting and shooting are also important for those in the remotest parts of the country where houses are isolated and services such as the local pub are harder to reach or non-existent.”

You can view our submitted evidence here.