The National Trust - Active Outdoors Providers Scheme
At the recent Outdoor Learning Conference, the National Trust brought the results of their work on the Active Outdoors Providers Scheme to the Outdoor Sector.
Introducing a new framework for developing relationships with third-party providers
In principle, we want to encourage people to use our land. We want to welcome and encourage providers – from independent instructors to large-scale event organisers. It enables more people to enjoy National Trust places. It’s why we’re here.
Our role is to protect the land as well as provide access. Impact and conservation is our priority when we’re considering and setting up relationships with third-party providers.
We want to work with providers to achieve shared goals.
A shared goal
Looking after places in our care now and in the future is our first responsibility. However, our strategy is also about how we rise to the big challenge of the 21st century and how we work with others to find solutions. After all, the health of the countryside, protection of heritage and the wellbeing of people living in towns and cities are where the national trust started. From the National Trust’s ‘Playing our part’ strategy.
Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, says, “Our 21st-century ambition is to meet the needs of environmental pressure, and the challenges and expectations of a fast-moving world. We want to continue to maintain the highest standards of care for everything we look after while working in a way that feels relevant and necessary to people and their day-to-day lives.”
Working together for a healthy and beautiful environment
We recognise that there are a huge number of outdoor providers who are, like us, concerned about damage caused to the environment by increased use of the outdoors for organised recreational activities. We know that we share values and the goal of helping people access and enjoy the benefits of being in the great outdoors.
The Active Outdoors Providers Scheme covers:
Activities covered by the scheme include but are not limited to:
The scheme does not cover:
These all have an impact on our places but are covered by other projects.
There’s been a fantastic boom in outdoor exercise and events. We want to welcome and encourage providers – from independent instructors to large-scale event organisers.
A few years ago we launched a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to managing relationships with third-party providers (by issuing a licence to everyone). This didn’t work, wasn’t realistic or appropriate.
We needed a more flexible approach to framing our relationships with outdoor providers – one that sets the right tone establishes a clear sense of respect and responsibility, and protects our liability and our ‘assets’ – the land and its wildlife.
How will it work?
The Active Outdoor Providers Scheme establishes four possible ways of working between the National Trust place and the outdoor activity provider.
Providers wanting to run an event or activity should contact the relevant National Trust place to discuss their options with a member of staff. The environmental impact of the activity/event will be assessed and one of the following ways of working will be agreed.
Here, we've also provided some real-life examples to show how the different approaches work.
For further information can be found here: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/activity-providers