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Mountaineering, Hill Walking and Climbing

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 9 February 2012

9. What steps his Department is taking to support increased participation in mountaineering, hill walking and climbing. (94339)

Sport England has awarded £1.3 million under the whole sport plan to the British Mountaineering Council between 2009 and 2013 to grow and sustain participation in mountaineering, hill walking and climbing.

As one of the co-chairmen of the all-party parliamentary group on mountaineering—we like to think of it as the pinnacle of APPGs—[Hon. Members: “Ah!”]—I thank the Minister for Sport for his ongoing support of mountain-related activities and of the British climbing team. As part of the Olympic legacy, the Outdoor Industry Association, supported by the BMC, is planning to launch a major new campaign, Britain on foot, to promote outdoor activities and to get people outdoors and keep them fit and healthy. Does my hon. Friend support those objectives, and could one of the ministerial team meet the organisers in the months ahead?

I am having one of those days.

May I start by paying tribute to the work of my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (David Rutley) both in the all-party group and as the parliamentary sports fellow? One of the key opportunities for mountaineering and hill walking lies in the tourism initiative launched by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and guided by the tourism Minister, the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Weston-super-Mare (John Penrose). Many people will want the chance not only to take part in the activity of hill walking but to see some of our fabulous countryside.