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Please act now and help #SaveOutdoorEd

Many of you reading this will need no convincing as to the importance of Outdoor Education, and to those people, we’d ask that you head straight to signing this petition: and consider sharing it amongst your networks.

For those who have come to paddlesports via a different path (or indeed, anyone reading this who hasn’t had any involvement in paddlesports or the outdoors so far in their life) and may not appreciate how friendships, careers, and physical and mental wellbeing for so many have been built on the foundations laid by Outdoor Education, allow us to share some perspectives with you:

“Outdoor Education is fundamentally embedded in the curriculum at Bolton School, with pupils taking part in outdoor adventurous residentials in almost every year group from junior school up to sixth form. Pupils attend our residential centre, Patterdale Hall, to develop character traits such as intellectual curiosity, determination, self-discipline, and leadership skills to name but a few, but in doing so they may also develop a passion for adventure and adventure sports, such as climbing or kayaking, where once back in school they can develop these skills and take part in trips here in the UK or overseas, such as our whitewater kayaking trips to the Alps, sea kayaking expeditions in Norway, and sport climbing adventures in Spain.”

Steven Bradley, Head of Outdoor Learning, Bolton School

“Through my own school career, I was lucky enough to visit Snowdonia a number of times for outdoor and adventurous activities. It was on those trips that I found my love of the outdoors and wild places. As I spent more time in them and gained qualifications that let me take others in them, I started to see the frayed edges. The litter accumulating on busy summits, the rivers threatened by dams, and the changing use of landscapes in our national parks. To truly protect somewhere, we must first experience it and value it. That starts with children, and it starts with outdoor education.”

Tom Laws, Trash Free Trails & Save Our Rivers

“Despite attending several training camps, I was never any good at football. I tried cricket, rugby, swimming, and tennis, and none of those stuck either; most of my weekends were spent exploring the forest with my friends, and when I realised there were sports like canoeing, kayaking, and orienteering to be done in those environments, I knew right away what I’d been missing! I owe that discovery to the school teachers who arranged outdoor residential trips so we could travel further afield and discover the beautiful outdoor environments the UK and the world have to offer. Outdoor recreation is my exercise, it’s how I socialise with friends and make new ones, and it’s what my career is built upon – I genuinely don’t know what I’d do without it.”

Mathew Wilkinson, Marketing Manager, Pyranha Kayaks

“Learning through an outdoor experience allows children with social and emotional barriers to classroom tasks to grow in confidence and achieve in an environment where they can succeed.”

Ian Sheldrake, Teacher & Owner of Venture-Out

Please lend your voice to help ensure future generations still have the opportunity to get into the outdoors: