Spring 2002 will see the launch of Britain's first ever National Outdoor Welcome campaign.
National bodies, together with local walking and climbing clubs, associations and outdoor centres throughout the country will be supporting a promotional programme of events to encourage newcomers to experience and enjoy the pleasures and benefits of active and responsible use of Britain's natural environment.
The National Outdoor Welcome - or NOW! - initiative will be Britain's largest celebration of all adventurous, and not so adventurous activities, taking place in the great outdoors.
Organised jointly by the British Mountaineering Council, The Camping and
Caravanning Club, The Ramblers' Association, the Youth Hostels Association
and the Outdoor Industries Association, the NOW! programme will commence
next Easter and run through to the early summer 2002.
Highlights of the campaign will include the Ramblers' Association's Festival of Spring Walks and the Camping and Caravanning Club's National Camping Week 2002. The BMC is planning a new series of youth events on climbing walls across the country while the YHA is organising a major programme of outdoor and environmental activities centred on their properties.
Orienteering, mountain biking, caving, canoeing and other specialist groups, together with Scouts, Guides and other youth organisations are also being invited to support NOW! and organise their own 'taster' events which can be promoted through the NOW! campaign.
Organisations wishing to participate in NOW! - either by staging their own
events or by sponsoring other aspects of the initiative - are invited to
contact the NOW! co-ordinator, Andrew Maxted at the Outdoor Industries
He told bikebiz.co.uk: "We haven't approached bike organisations yet [because] it's taken long enough to hammer out agreement between current partners. Having established
a core plan and budget we're now open to approaches from anyone who wants to join in."
If the key cycle organisations don't invest a bit of sweat equity in this campaign handed to them on a plate, they need shooting!