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Sports stars launch national park recreation strategy

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 27 April 2010

26 April 2010

Sports stars launch national park recreation strategy

Ellie Koyander & Andy Cave on climbing wall supplied by Peak Pursuits
Mountaineer Andy Cave and Olympic Mogul skier Ellie Koyander have launched a strategy to encourage outdoor recreational activities in the Peak District National Park.

The sports stars joined Narendra Bajaria, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, and Geoff Nickolds, lead member for recreation, for the launch.

The Active in the Outdoors strategy:

• Identifies the current and future outdoor recreation needs of residents and visitors

• Identifies what facilities need to be created to encourage more people to try outdoor activities

• Outlines ways of making residents and visitors aware of the activities on offer and the health benefits that taking part can bring

• Aims to develop better public transport links to reduce the number of people travelling by car to take part in outdoor recreation activities

The Peak District National Park Authority will be working with partners including water companies, district, city and county councils, the Peak District Local Access Forum and charities including the Ramblers and British Mountaineering Council to deliver the strategy.

Speaking at the launch, mountaineer Andy Cave said: “Today as a society we spend more time sat in cars and stuck in front of computers than ever before. But we are lucky to have the national park so close to two-thirds of the UK population. To get the most out of the national park you need to be outdoors, getting close to nature.

“In the Peak District we have everything for outdoor sports. The rock climbing is truly world class. Walking and running opportunities are second to none. We have horse riding, fishing, water sports, caving and many more activities.”

But Andy says people taking part in outdoor activities also have a responsibility to ensure they don’t damage the place they have come to enjoy.

He said: “We need to realise how fragile the Peak District National Park is. All outdoors activities can have a negative impact in terms of erosion and the travelling that goes on to get there. So it is critical that activities are both sustainable and appropriate.”

The Active in the Outdoors strategy launch took place as part of the Super Saturday event in Buxton to promote a range of outdoor activities, including the Peak District Walking Festival.

Olympic Mogul skier Ellie Koyander, who lives in Tideswell, told the audience how the national park had inspired her to take up outdoor sports as a child.

Geoff Nickolds, lead member for recreation at the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are determined this will not be a strategy that just sits on a shelf. We will ensure this document guides the provision of outdoor activities and makes more opportunities available to both residents and visitors.”

The strategy is also supported by Julia Bradbury, presenter of the BBC’s Countryfile programme and president of the Friends of the Peak District.

She said: “Health and vitality are important both for our Peak District National Park landscape and for the people who live in and visit it.

“National parks were established in the most wild and dramatic areas of this country to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and to promote opportunities for people to enjoy and understand.

“The new recreation strategy sets out how the National Park Authority will achieve that balance, increasing opportunities for more people to enjoy some of the finest landscapes and best wildlife in ways that are more sustainable.”

The Active in the Outdoors recreation strategy can be seen by visiting www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/recreation

This is an archived press release

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