Sport and Activity Licensing and the National Trust in Wales
I am writing to let you know about a pilot for a new National Trust approach to sport and activity licensing that will be commencing in 2016. I have taken this opportunity to write to you all to explain our intentions, and avoid any future misunderstandings. This pilot will only be applicable to England and we will not be adopting the same approach to licensing in Wales. We do however, support the ambition to licence the large scale, one off events, which take place on National Trust land.
As you may know the National Trust looks after over 257,000 ha (635,200ac) of the nations special places, including 775 miles of coastline and 76 nature reserves enjoyed by over 200 million visits to our outdoor places each year. As a charity our strategy is to look after the places in our care, now and for the future.
Our places offer wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. From walking, running, cycling, coasteering, canoeing, climbing or simply enjoying peace and quiet reflection, surrounded by nature and beautiful landscapes.
As custodians of these unique places, we seek to balance the enjoyment and inclusion that sport events and activities in open spaces can bring to the communities and visitors we serve locally, nationally and internationally, with the provision of spaces for quiet enjoyment and relaxation.
The ‘Sport Event and Activity Licence System’ being piloted in England looks to help to strike this balance to help with the planning of sport events or activities, to avoid clashes and conflicts and to ensure the future well-being of habitats, landscapes and settings. All organised group events or activities for commercial gain require formal permission. The event/activity organiser will be personally responsible for the event/activity, the participants and the potential impact it could have on the site and on other people.
The Outdoor Activity Providers sector in Wales is well established and organised and we have already worked with various groups to achieve these same aims, therefore there is no need to include Wales in the pilot. Where this is the case we would not be looking to replace these agreements. We will be contributing our learning and approach to the team leading the pilot so that whatever scheme is ultimately developed it incorporates best practice from both Wales and England. We will continue with our work on a local level while also building our relationship with WATO (Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation) nationally.