Adventure sports such as mountain biking contribute more than just cash to the national park, campaigners said. Photo: Michael Ely CC-BY-SA-2.0

Adventure sports such as mountain biking contribute more than just cash to the national park, campaigners said. Photo: Michael Ely CC-BY-SA-2.0

A newly formed campaign group wants national park bosses to acknowledge adventure sports enthusiasts.

The Peak Adventure Sports Alliance said climbers, mountain bikers, cavers and paddlers bring a vitality to the area as well as economic benefits.

The group, which includes the British Mountaineering Council, fellrunning representatives, outdoor education providers and canoe communities, also says the Peak District is underfunded, pointing out the disparity between the Royal Opera House’s near £30m in subsidy and the national park authority which receives only £8m.

A spokesperson for the alliance said: “The group understands that these are straitened times and that budget cuts are seriously affecting the national parks but feel too little imagination and campaigning zeal is being brought to bear on the patent underfunding of the Peak District National Park Authority.

“Simply viewing adventure sports as a potential source of income risks eroding the freedom to seek out adventure and enjoyment and could kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

“It’s worth noting that the Royal Opera House gets nearly £30m in subsidy and the PDNPA receives only £8m. Do we have our priorities right?

“Adventure sports continue to play a fundamental part in the evolution of the national park and the economic benefits of a vibrant adventure sports scene and the physical and spiritual benefit it brings to hundreds of thousands of people every year must not be underestimated.”

The group said it will be seeking a meeting with officials from the park authority as a matter of urgency.

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