Britain on Foot™ is a national campaign with a clear objective: to encourage more people in Britain to get active outdoors. This could mean walking to work, hill-walking, geocaching with the family or even taking up mountaineering. It does this by encouraging and spotlighting the hundreds of local, regional and national outdoor initiatives that already exist.
The campaign was created and led by the Outdoor Industries Association and Countryside Ski & Climb is proud to be one of its ‘First Funder’ supporting members and is on the board of directors.
How does this benefit you? The reason this campaign is so important is two-fold.
First we cannot underestimate the important part outdoor activities play in benefitting the economy; particularly the rural economy, tourism industry and adventure and outdoor industries, all of which make a significant contribution to the overall wealth of our country. At present, tourism contributes £115 billion to the UK’s income and employs nearly 10% of our population and the outdoor sector is a key part of this as a wealth generator. We regularly look abroad for our holidays, which means we miss some truly beautiful landscape and fun opportunities right here at home! Britain on Foot™ can provide you with links to many fantastic activities, allow you to upload your own recommendations, share your experiences and keep you updated on absolutely everything ‘outdoors’.
Second and equally as important are the well known benefits of keeping fit (living longer for a start). There is now a huge body of empirical evidence clearly indicating that well-being, mental distress and health are all significantly improved by access to and activity in green spaces and the outdoors. To give this perspective, think of this positive affect as being roughly equal to a third of the impact of being married or a tenth as significant as being employed vs. unemployed*. Furthermore, did you know that at present one in four British children are deficient in vitamin D, which is needed for building strong and healthy bones? Simple sunlight is a key source of this vitamin as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous from our diets. So, ditch the car and see what you can do at family level or with your local group, with the help of Britain on Foot™, to encourage your friends and community to get out more – your country needs you!
*Referenced from a study published in the journal Psychological Science by Dr Mathew White and colleagues at the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health (University of Exeter)