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Call for country pursuits inclusion in recreation strategy

A briefing from the Countryside Alliance in advance of the House of Lords Grand Committee debate on the National Plan for Sport, Health and Wellbeing on Thursday 09 February.

  • The Countryside Alliance welcomed the formation of the National Plan for Sport and Recreation Committee to devise a cross-party national plan for sport, health and wellbeing.
  • The Alliance welcomes the Committee's final Report and believes the Government should take forward its key recommendations.
  • Given the broad interpretation of the terms 'recreation' and 'physical activity' as used in the report that includes "any activity that involves physical movement", we believe it is regrettable that there is only a brief reference to angling and no reference to shooting or equestrian activities.
  • We submitted written evidence to the inquiry in conjunction with the British Horse Society, the Pony Club and the Angling Trust, which in this briefing we wish to highlight in order to address what we believe to be a shortcoming in the Report, that must not be repeated in any Government action to improve levels of physical activity and sport in its broadest sense.
  • Shooting is vital to the rural economy. For many isolated and rural areas, shooting can be the lynchpin that ensures the community economically survives for 12 months of the year. It also involves thousands of people in outdoor activity not only on shooting days but throughout the year, especially in the extensive conservation work undertaken by shoots both by professionals and volunteers.
  • Angling makes a significant contribution to national strategic objectives in sport, the environment and the economy. It engages huge numbers of people – estimated to involve around 900,000 fishing in freshwater in England and Wales and around 750,000 people who fish in the sea every year in the UK.
  • The economic value of the equestrian sector stands at £4.7 billion of consumer spending across a wide range of goods and services each year. This has increased from £4.3 billion in 2015. There are 27 million people in Britain with an interest in the equestrian industry.

To read the briefing in full, please click here.

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