Welsh Assembly Hosts Lunch-Time Meet for BMC
On the third of March a team of BMC big-wigs and active Welsh climbers headed down to Cardiff to meet up with politicians to recognise the importance of mountaineering for the Welsh nation.
John Griffiths AM who was hosting the event commented:
“I am very pleased to be hosting this event and to be welcoming the British Mountaineering Council and its guests to the National Assembly for Wales for the first event of its kind to be held here.
As an active hill walker I am fully aware of the great health benefits getting out into the Welsh mountains can bring - be it a gentle stroll up the diminutive Sugar Loaf in Abergavenny, or a more adventurous hike to Pumlumon in the solitude of mid Wales, to a demanding scramble in the rugged splendour of the Glyders.”
The BMC were there, in part, to look for funding to continue their new post of Access and Conservation Officer for Wales, held by Elfyn Jones.
Dave Turnbull, BMC CEO commented:
"The BMC has recently established a 3-year post, based in Wales funded from our own reserves. We are looking to the authorities in Wales for support for this to continue. We are keen to work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure people are able to use the mountains and coasts of Wales in a responsible way."
The meeting touched on the importance of active tourism to the economy of Wales and a presentation on this subject was given by Caradog Jones, the first Welshman up Everest.
From the Snowdonia Active website:
Snowdonia-Active's 2004 study (The Active Economy) concluded that the outdoor industry in North West Wales contributed £140 million to the local economy, while generating about 8,400 jobs and making up 6% of the whole economy of North West Wales.
With figures like these it would seem that the BMC are in a strong position to protect Welsh climbing if they ever need to.
And with a full time Access and Conservation Officer for Wales and a foot in the door at the Welsh Assembly, the future of climbing, at least of the political ladder, looks bright in Wales.