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ESI - Cornwall Outdoor Charter Group

The Cornwall Outdoor Charter Group.

New charter group forms a collective voice for Cornish outdoor activity providers

A new group designed to give key providers in Cornwall’s burgeoning outdoor activity sector a collective voice and ensure that they operate with the highest regard for the environment, has been launched.

The Cornwall Outdoor Charter Group (COCG), which seeks to act as an ‘environmental ambassador’ for the county’s outdoor leisure companies and work with wildlife groups and environmental stakeholders, held its inaugural meeting at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

Work towards developing a code of conduct for best practice commenced last year following a conference at which the ESI, which is based at the Penryn Campus, brought together the various groups spread across the county.

Steve Crummay, Chair of COCG, said: “Cornwall has a unique coastline and many areas of outstanding natural beauty, COCG can help build its national and international reputation as a ‘must do’ destination for visitors as well as helping to build the region’s brand as a green destination and raising the bar in environmental knowledge and best practice for all.”

The value and importance of outdoor activities to local and national economies, and its positive effects on the health and well-being of people has recently been debated in Parliament. Tom Wildblood, Deputy Chair of COCG, said: “A code of conduct will not only help preserve our natural environment for future generations but should make Cornwall’s outdoor spaces more, rather than less accessible.”

With a regional outdoor activity sector made up of over 200 operators, there is an opportunity for the COCG to share best practice and information, not only for the benefit of operators but also for the general public. 

, ESI Knowledge Exchange Manager, said: “There is great potential for COCG to act as an environmental ambassador on behalf of its members, to help raise standards of delivery within the sector, and to strengthen relationships with other key stakeholders. One of the group’s key priorities is to map recreational activities against ecologically sensitive sites so that we can all be better informed of seasonal and venue capacity tolerances. The ESI has the expertise to facilitate and support this work.”

COCG will be holding a workshop on Friday 23 May to further discuss and finalise codes of conduct alongside regulators and environmental stakeholders. For more information on membership, or to attend the meeting please email the COCG secretary.

The ESI is working with businesses and enterprises across all sectors of the economy in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond to translate research and expertise into innovative business practices, products and services in order to respond to the challenges of environmental change. It has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£22.9M) and the South West Regional Development Agency (£6.6M), with significant support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Date: 16 April 2014