Friday, 13 September 2013

images-8The views of people involved in fishing, game shooting and stalking are being ignored by Visit Wales’ outdoor activity tourism survey, the Countryside Alliance and Angling Trust claim.

The survey is part of a review of access rights to land and rivers being undertaken by the Welsh Government which could see increased access for canoeists – a move that would affect anglers’ sport considerably.

However despite specific sections of the questionnaire asking the views of rock climbers, kayakers, surfers, cyclists, cavers and many more, there is no area on the survey for the comments of those involved in country pursuits. 

Countryside Alliance director for Wales Rachel Evans said: “I am astounded that such an important survey on outdoor recreation has completely omitted angling, shooting and stalking and other countryside interests.

“Angling is worth an estimated 150 million to the economy and Shooting in Wales provides the equivalent of 2,600 full time jobs and is value at £73million.

“This simply cannot be a fair and balanced survey on outdoor recreation when such vast numbers of visitors are simply being excluded. I am very disappointed indeed that Visit Wales, funded by Welsh Government have failed to acknowledge the astronomical amount of money that is pumped in to the rural economy by those who choose to come to Wales to fish and shoot.”

And Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust said: “Angling is one of the most popular outdoor pursuits and it is quite ridiculous that it should be excluded from this survey. Government agencies need to wake up the fact that angling is practised by 3 million voters, generates £3.5 billion for the UK economy and employs 37,000 people.

“Anglers must stand up and be counted to ensure that our interests are respected by policy-makers and politicians.”

Both groups urge those involved in fishing and shooting to fill out the form, putting their views in the section entitled “other”. The survey is open until 20 September.

For more information, contact Rachel Evans at [email protected] or 01550 777997.

View the questionnaire here