Reconomics report shows getting active outdoors is the nation’s favourite pastime

A report by the Sport and Recreation Alliance reveals that getting outdoor recreation is the UK’s favourite pastime, with three in four adults in England regularly getting active outdoors.

The Reconomics report brings together all the existing information, research and evidence relating to the impact of outdoor recreation and provides a compelling case to politicians of the true value of outdoor recreation.

Reconomics is presented in three forms – a report, an academic resource pack and a set of case studies, and reveals that:

  • people spending their day enjoying outdoor recreation spent £21 billion in 2012/13 and when you factor in overnight visits this comes to £27 billion
  • walking tourism alone supports up to 246,000 full time equivalent jobs
  • outdoor recreation can make a significant contribution to tackling the £10 billion cost of physical inactivity.

Adventurer and Chief Scout Bear Grylls believes that the proof Reconomics provides means that the government must now give outdoor recreation more support.

“The great outdoors stands for so much - and for me and so many people across the UK it is a gateway to adventure and to so much wonder. Every day millions of people find their joy outside, whether walking, riding, rowing, or flying – not just Great British eccentrics or outliers – but the mainstream. Every day people who just love being active in the fresh air.

“The activity it enables changes lives, by creating prosperity, by improving health, developing confidence and passing on life skills.

"This report lays out the wide range of benefits of getting active outdoors both for the individual and for society. But if we are to maximise these benefits we need politicians to get on board too.

“Let’s have a long-term plan for how we get more people active outside and, if we have a minister for cities, why can’t we have one for the countryside and all the activities that take place there too? That can only be a positive step for our nation.”

The Sport and Recreation Alliance believes that the case for supporting outdoor recreation is irrefutable given the the contribution the outdoors makes to the health, wealth and happiness of the nation.

Its Interim Chief Executive, Sallie Barker, now wants to see the Government take action to support outdoor recreation.

“Outdoor recreation is a way of life for the millions of people across the UK who can’t wait to down tools at the end of a working week and get outside.

“Actions speak louder than words, and that’s why we want to see a long-term strategy for outdoor recreation with a single Minister taking responsibility for making it happen.

“The Reconomics project was conceived after consultation with our members who wanted to be able to make the case to government for their activities.

"Reconomics does just that and is now a powerful tool for the sector to use in gaining recognition for its hard work.”

Find out more about Reconomics.

View the Reconomics video.