Your Movement Matters

Your Movement Matters

Guest Blog by Emily Ankers & Chris Kay

It is clear that we have an issue with diversity and inclusion in the outdoors in the UK. The information that we have tells us that in England, those from an ethnic minority background are 60% less likely to visit the natural environment than the rest of the population [4], the existence of personal disability or a long term-illness can be a significant constraint to participation in outdoor activities [5], and women tend to participate in outdoor recreation at lower rates than men for reasons including societal gender expectations, lack of exposure and fear [6]. These are of course not extensive statistics, just some examples.

However, we do also have some significant data gaps. We have limited data of varying quality on participation in walking and climbing related activities by different faith groups, those who identify themselves as outside of the binary genders (female and male are the binary genders) and LGBTQIA+ participation, amongst other aspects of identity.




The Your Movement Matters survey has been commissioned to investigate participant demographics in walking and climbing activities. The survey data will give us a better understanding of who is and who is not participating in walking and climbing related activities in the UK and Ireland. We need as many adults (age 16+) as possible to take part in the survey. This means no matter what your background, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, faith, socio-economic status, if you have a disability or not, mental-health condition and wherever you live within the UK and Ireland, we want to hear from you. If you’re a seasoned mountaineer, you walk your dog in the local park, you climb indoors occasionally or regularly all year round or, you don’t do any of these activities. We cannot stress it enough, there is literally no adult in the UK or Ireland who is not welcome to take part.

Often, data is lacking because either the groups have not been reached by research projects, the question have not been asked before or people skip the questions. The ‘Your movement matters’ survey contains questions that you can skip, we can’t make anyone answer a question that they don’t want to (*important* all data and information will be anonymous). People have perfectly valid reasons for skipping questions but sometimes, it can be a case of personal perception on how important you think a question is. For example, you see a question asking for gender and you may think “oh, well gender is not important to me because I think that all genders are equal and I treat all with respect.” Gender equality, we like it, but that’s not a reason to skip a question. It removes detail from our data when we really need to know what the gender participation in walking and climbing related activities is. We need the most accurate and detailed data to help us make sure that all people can access the opportunities they need to participate in activities.

The data will be used by the funding partners to help develop policies, resources and implement change to support in the improvement of inclusion and diversity within the outdoors.

The Your movement matters survey is now live and we would be grateful if you could take the time to complete it. All survey respondents will be given the opportunity to enter a prize draw for a £100 Ellis Brigham voucher.

Click HERE to participate in the survey.


This research is funded by Mountain Training, the British Mountaineering Council, the Association of British Climbing Walls, NICAS, the Ramblers, the Camping and Caravanning Club, the Outdoor Industries Association and Plas y Brenin.

This research is being conducted by the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University.

Contacts: , and


[4] S. Evison, J. Burt, S. Preston, Kaleidoscope: Improving support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to access services from the natural environment and heritage sectors. Natural England Commissioned Reports, 2017.

[5] OIA and Sport England, Getting Active Outdoors: A study of Demography, Motivation, Participation and Provision in Outdoor Sport and Recreation in England, 2015.

[6] K. Evans and D.M. Anderson, ‘It’s never turned me back’: female mountain guides’ constraint negotiation. Annals of Leisure Research, 2018. 21(1): p. 9-31



This is a guest blog written for the Bendrigg Trust by Emily Ankers and Chris Kay.

If you would like to feature on our blog with content relating to the outdoors and disability please email