Rural activities can lead to health benefits

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The Countryside Alliance has told a Government inquiry how taking part in rural activities such as fishing, hunting or shooting sports has shown to provide a positive impact on social mobility, education, health, and community engagement.

The Countryside Alliance submitted written evidence on the positive role rural sports can have as part of an inquiry into the social impact of participation in sport by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

The Countryside Alliance’s evidence outlined the benefits from their charity arm, The Countryside Alliance Foundation which has introduced thousands to the countryside and enabled many young people who get few life chances to participate in positive outdoor rural activities.

The Foundation’s key projects which includes Casting for Recovery, Fishing for Schools and Falconry for Schools all demonstrate that positive engagement in rural activities can improve health and educational attainment.

In addition to this, Countryside Alliance also outlined the benefits of shooting and its associated activities such as beating, picking up or manual work and how they contribute to the wellbeing and health of those who take part. Hunting also plays a key role in many communities. The majority of hunts organise social activities which can include a point-to-point or a quiz night, while a hunt meet itself gives people in the community a chance to come together.

Countryside Alliance, Head of Policy Sarah Lee, commented: “The Countryside Alliance welcomed this inquiry as we believe that rural sports and outdoor activity are increasingly being recognised as important for their contributions to our physical, personal and social wellbeing.”

The next Casting for Recovery retreat in Ireland will be held at Mount Falcon in County Mayo on 19 – 21 October 2018. For more information – www.castingforrecovery.co.uk