Over the past two weeks, the newly formed BMC Covid-19 Working Group has been working hard to develop proposals for phased re-opening of the outdoors for hillwalking and climbing. The culmination of this, so far, is a Covid-19 recovery plan for climbing & hill walking which has been submitted to English and Welsh government ministers and departments today.
This document provides activity-specific reasoning and measures which could allow phased reopening of the outdoors for the activities we represent in line with government regulations as they adapt.
We are working collaboratively with other recreational bodies through stakeholder groups in both England and Wales to develop overarching ideas and ensure consistency and this document aims to sit alongside that work, detailing the BMC’s thinking on specific climbing and hill walking issues relating to Covid-19.
Rob Dyer, BMC Access & Conservation Officer (England) said: “This recovery plan aims to give government ministers and their advisor’s clear information specific to climbing and hill walking on how access to the outdoors for our activities could resume in a safe way as lockdown eases. We eagerly await the announcements from the Prime Minister expected this weekend and hope that this recovery plan influences thinking on a safe return to outdoor activities when lockdown begins to phase out. This is only the beginning of course and there is lots yet to be done, particularly once government strategy is made public, so watch this space as the situation develops.”
Elfyn Jones, BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales) also said: “Wales is one of the most popular climbing and hillwalking areas in the UK, for both local residents and visitors alike. This plan will help Welsh Government with their aim of safely easing the lockdown and to start allowing recreational activities to be resumed in a safe manner and for Welsh citizens and visitors to once again enjoy the great outdoor activities that Wales is famous for”.