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Outdoor Advisory Board – Briefing Paper
/ Categories: Latest News, Members News

Outdoor Advisory Board – Briefing Paper

Winter 2023 No: 1a

Outdoor Advisory Board – Briefing Paper Winter 2023 No: 1a

From Outdoor Council to Outdoor Advisory Board

The Outdoor Council is now well on its journey to becoming the Outdoor Advisory Board bringing its existing work and membership within the structure of the planned Outdoor Learning Association. In making this move there will be operational advantages of additional support from a professional team of paid officers, essential in taking the work of the Board forward and in supporting the Board as the Secretariat for the Outdoor Learning All Party Parliamentary Group. It also provides the opportunity to expand the membership of the Board in order to gain a wider appreciation of the world in which we work and maximize the impact of partnership working across the outdoor sector. We will keep you up to date with developments as the work of the Board evolves.




National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award – Programme announced 10th November 2022. View details in the DfE Blog

Learning through Landscapes, who are a partner in the programme explain more: Led by the Natural History Museum and working in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, the Royal Society, Royal Geographical Society, and Manchester Metropolitan University, we will work with the education sector to help them survey, manage, and enhance their school grounds and outdoor spaces creating one vast National Education Nature Park.

The National Education Nature Park will engage children and young people with nature, supporting schools in England to survey biodiversity in their school grounds and, critically, to take action to protect and enhance it.

The project will create an online hub where teachers can access a wealth of curated, quality-assured information and teaching resources. These materials will support them in delivering climate education across the curriculum and build confidence in taking lessons outdoors, allowing more children to access the many benefits of outdoor learning. For more details visit: Learning through Landscapes


Private Members Bill

The Private Members Bill that is being led by Liz Smith will have its consultation published along with a recommendation from Liz. It will then require eighteen MSP signatures to allow it to progress as a piece of Parliamentary business. This is because it is a Private Members Bill and not a brought

by the ruling SNP Party. Liz says that she has the support and the signatures in waiting. See the link below:

Proposed Schools Residential Outdoor Education Scotland Bill | Scottish Parliament Website

Note: You may remember we (Outdoor Council) did respond, having sought advice from colleagues in Scotland.


Commons Debate: Sport in Schools and Communities

On Tuesday 10 January, MPs held a debate in Parliament on sport in schools and communities. During the debate MPs on both side of the bench backed calls from the Youth Sport Trust to make PE a core subject, with recognition that urgent confirmation of funding for school sport for the academic year 2023/24 is needed. Read more on the debate by clicking below. Watch the debate in full here.


NCS announces a forthcoming partnership with Ingeus and YHA to deliver brand new residential experiences for young people.

In November 2022, National Citizen Service Trust (NCS) which has run youth programmes for 16-17 year olds for over ten years, outlined the evolution of their experiences for young people from 2023 onwards. The new experiences will give young people more control over how and when they engage with NCS and offer more opportunities to get involved closer to home.

Following a commissioning process, NCS is delighted to announce that a consortium between Ingeus and YHA successfully won the bid to deliver the NCS 2023-25 residential experience.

Ingeus and YHA will deliver the new one-week NCS residential experience across England, consisting of a five day stay away from home where young people will take part in project-based learning activities that centre around one of three themes; employability, independent living, or social action. With a mix of adventurous activities and skills for life, young people will have the opportunity to make new friends from different locations and backgrounds and discover their own potential.

For further details visit: YHA

Sport and Recreation Alliance (18 January 2023) - Leading bodies issue urgent plea to Government to support grassroots sport and physical activity sector

The following joint statement is issued on behalf of Active Partnerships, CIMSPA, the Local Government Association, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Sport for Development Coalition, Swim England, ukactive and the Youth Sport Trust.

‘Today we make an urgent plea to the Government not to take for granted the role and importance of sport, recreation, and physical activity in our country. As lead organisations from the sector and local government, we are acutely aware of the significant, and in some cases, unreconcilable pressure facilities are facing as a result of both the pandemic and now the energy crisis.

The failure to identify bespoke support for the sector (and schools operating sports facilities) as part

of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme will be the final straw for certain facilities and services – especially swimming provision – across the UK.

Unless changed, communities will see the loss of essential local services, including swimming lessons for children, multi-sport offerings, mental health services, bespoke programmes for older citizens, ethnically diverse communities, and disabled people, and long-term health programmes including cancer rehabilitation and support for those with musculoskeletal conditions and type 2 diabetes. This will impact millions of people, of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. View the full news item

Dartmoor and Wild Camping – BMC report 19th January 2023

Last week, a ruling from the High Court dealt a blow to wilderness and adventure lovers in the UK. Wild camping is to be banned in Dartmoor. However, the National Park have now reached an agreement that will enable people to continue wild camping in parts of Dartmoor National Park.

The Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association and the National Park Authority met yesterday (18 January 2023) to discuss how wild camping on the Dartmoor Commons might be facilitated going forward. Agreement was reached in principle on the following:

· Landowners will grant permission to the Authority to allow the public to wild camp through a permissive agreement.

· This new system will provide clear guidance on what constitutes wild camping based on the principle of ‘leave no trace’.

· Areas where the public can wild camp without seeking individual permission from landowners will be communicated via an interactive map on Dartmoor National Park Authority’s website in the coming days.

Anyone planning to wild camp now or in the future must refer to the interactive map and follow all ‘leave no trace’ principles.

Whilst the agreement is completed, wild camping (including Ten Tors and The Duke of Edinburgh Award) is permitted with immediate effect.

All present at the meeting were clear that there is no place for illegal fly camping on Dartmoor. ‘Fly camping’, which often involves large groups with barbecues or open fires, should not be confused with true wild camping and will continue to be prohibited.

Whilst the BMC welcomes this announcement, we believe that wild camping should encompass the freedom to choose where to camp, when to camp, without any regulations, to be self-sufficient and to do so in a discreet and responsible manner. Referring to maps to pre-plan a camp, applying for permission, and relying on the whim of landowners doesn’t give visitors the certainty and freedom to explore Dartmoor in the way they may have wished. We hope Dartmoor National Park Authority wins leave to appeal and that we can establish that there is a clear right to wild camp on all of Dartmoor’s wild places.

Rest assured that the BMC, along with the other groups we are working with, including the National Park, Open Spaces Society, Ramblers, Right to Roam, Under The Stars and others, are fully and actively opposed to any restrictions on wild camping on Dartmoor. We see it as a fundamental threat to the freedom to enjoy wild spaces in this country, and the many benefits that this brings, at a time when the need is greater than ever.

Children's Map Competition - A Map of my Future World

The Barbara Petchenik Competition is a free biennial map drawing competition for children. It was created by the International Cartographic Association in 1993 as a memorial for Barbara Petchenik, a past Vice president of the ICA and cartographer who had a lifelong interest in maps for children. The aim of the contest is to promote the creative representation of the world in graphic form by children. UK entries are managed by the British Cartographic Society, the deadline for entries is 10 April 2023.

Age groups for entries: under 6, 6-8, 9-12,13-15

For further details:

Mountain Training England and NNAS partnership announced

Mountain Training England and National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) have teamed up to promote each other’s schemes and enable their accredited tutors to be able to deliver both schemes.

Existing providers will still need to apply to the relevant organisation but for only 50% of the usual application fee. It is hoped by both organisations that increasing the number of providers who deliver both schemes will “help more people gain both competence and confidence in the outdoors”. Read the joint statement


a. New summary report confirming the benefits of LOtC in natural environments

Natural England, the government’s scientific adviser on the natural environment, commissioned CLOtC to create a summary of these 2 new reports they have just published:

· Links between natural environments, learning and health: evidence briefing. Prof Justin Dillon & Dr Rebecca Lovell (2022).

· Social and economic benefits of learning in natural environments. Social Value Business 2022

CLOtC’s summary highlight the outcomes of these reports that provide evidence to prove that taking learning beyond the classroom into natural environments…

o Has positive social and behavioural outcomes such as self-esteem, resilience, self-confidence and trusting relationships

o Improves students attainment in reading, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education and drama; and a greater motivation for studying science

o Offers increased motivation/engagement with learning which can lead to attendance rates going up

o Increases nature-connectedness and encourages development of pro-environmental behaviours

o Provides an increase in physical activity, benefitting cardiovascular health

“Learning outside the classroom in natural environments offers children the opportunity to increase their knowledge of themselves, and their self-awareness. This is followed by an increased sense of responsibility towards others, increased confidence, and high levels of enjoyment and engagement in learning.” Feedback from the schools involved.

Download the Summary: The full evidence report summary is now available to download here.

b. The intersection of environmental and sustainability education, and character education: An instrumental case study

Although fostering values is promoted within environmental and sustainability education (ESE) and a shift in values is seen as essential for a sustainable future, recent international findings indicate that this aspect of ESE is being neglected. Previous research has shown there to be common ground between ESE and the field of character education (CE), a form of values education. Bringing together these two strands of theory and practice has the potential to be fruitful in terms of strengthening current, and introducing new, practices in both fields, particularly through drawing on existing evidence-based strategies within CE to inform ESE. For more information follow the link to British Educational Research Association

5. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY - Celebrating Diversity Through Adventure

Women in Mountain Training Conference - resources now available

The first ever Women in Mountain Training Conference was a huge success and resources from the weekend are now available.

One of our conference aims was:

“To share the findings from the conference with our providers, sector employers and managers to help them understand the challenges women face.

This will allow all leaders to develop more inclusive practices and better meet the needs of the women and girls they lead.”

Browse the resources

We encourage you to share these resources throughout your networks wherever appropriate.

6. NGBs

British Cycling (19 January 2023) - Major new research into E-Mountain Bike use in Britain

New research commissioned by British Cycling and published today has shown the rising popularity of off-road e-bikes and electric mountain bikes (e-MTB’s), and highlights the need for improvements to cycling infrastructure and more inclusive policies to enable more people to enjoy the social and health benefits of this growing activity.

Focusing on current and future trends, the study undertaken by Edinburgh Napier University looked at the opportunities and challenges presented by the growth of the e-MTB market over recent years, and has also offered recommendations to improve access and inclusion, develop facilities and provide clear information and advice as e-MTBs continue to grow in popularity.

The full report is now available here, but key findings include:

· e-MTB riders are riding further, faster and more frequently throughout the year compared to other cyclists. Mental health was cited as the biggest benefit of riding e-MTB’s (39%).

· Most riders (83%) were likely to avoid trails in fragile areas and the majority of riders, particularly women, were looking for social rides with the preferred location being trail centres.

· In the future, riders are looking for e-MTB friendly gates and barriers at trail centres, as well as for trails and trail features to be more compatible with two-wheel and adapted e-MTB’s.

· The demographics of e-MTB riders in Britain showed that 96% of people riding e-MTB’s are white, 15% are disabled and primarily ranged from 45-74 years old, with the majority of riders being male. In September last year, British Cycling partnered with the Colour Collective to increase the number of trained MTB leaders from diverse ethnic communities.

· In total, 90% said that cost was the main barrier to participation.

BCU – Safety Alerts and Annual Safety Report

British Canoeing would like to share the following safety alerts and case study, as well as the 2022 Annual Safety Report:

· Lifejacket Recall Notice

· Unregistered Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

· Commercial Stand Up Paddleboarding Accident, Haverfordwest: Lessons Learnt from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch Report

Further details can be found at: Safety Alerts


Sport England (5 January 2023) Small Grants Programme returns with awards of up to £15,000

Our Small Grants Programme can now give 50% larger awards to help communities get active after the maximum grant amount was increased to £15,000 for 2023. The Small Grants Programme was put on hold for a year in 2022 as we launched the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Activity Fund, which was designed to bring communities together through activity.

Now, Small Grants has returned and the award limit has been upped from £10,000 to £15,000 in order to provide sport and physical activities for people who may be less physically active.

We believe that communities that work together and share resources provide a stronger and more sustainable impact.

So, the programme will also prioritise projects that focus on environmental sustainability, can demonstrate how they connect with their communities, provide the biggest possible impact to those who need it most and are working with people living in areas of disadvantage.

The closing date for applications to the programme is 30 June. View more details

Martin Smith Chair: Outdoor Advisory Board



Sport & Physical Activity Link: A current awareness bulletin for the Sport Sector

Recreation Alliance – Weekly Round up of News

FSC Monitoring Update

AfPE Newsletter

The Wild Network updates

OIA Newsletter

Mountain Training Newsletter

Jubilee Centre Research and Policy Centre

Learning Through Landscapes Newsletter

Natural Environment and People Evidence Round Up

BMC Update



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