A tongue in cheek email exchange with a hashtag…

Wales Council for Outdoor Learning, a quango type of organisation that I am sure receives lots of charitable donations and government funding delivers a week long promotion of outdoor education in Wales apparently on a weekly basis.

I have never seen the hashtag that they are so keen to keep and despite having been an outdoor educator for some 25 plus years have never been approached by them or seen any of their promotional material.

Anyways, upon seeing that they use Wales Outdoor in their headline event I thought I’d write to them, especially as they are partnered wit the despicable Natural Resources Wales, an arch enemy of Wales Outdoors. Here is the exchange 🙂

ANDREW LAMB My trading name since March 2005 has been Wales Outdoors. I think running a campaign in Wales called Wales Outdoor is a bit close to the bone. Can you please change the name of Wales Outdoor learning week.

PHIL STUBBINGTON Good afternoon Andrew. Thank you for your email about the campaign #WalesOutdoorLearningWeek. #WalesOutdoorLearningWeek is an established campaign with support from national stakeholders involved in outdoor learning and nature connection. The campaign is jointly delivered by Natural Resources Wales and the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning. I appreciate the similarities in the wording used, however as a well-established hashtag and campaign we will not be looking to action any change. #WalesOutdoorLearningWeek is an annual campaign to celebrate the work and experiences that every organisation does (including your own) to support, engage and develop outdoor learning opportunities across Wales and not a brand or trading name in its own right. I hope that despite your concerns, you will see the value and the positive outcomes that will come from #walesoutdoorlearningweek and the opportunities to promote your own contributions to this significant and valued area of work. I have CCD, Sue Williams – from NRW who leads on the campaign from their end for reference. Phil Stubbington. Chair – Wales Council for Outdoor Learning

ANDREW LAMB When I get the time then perhaps I will set up a resource website titled naturalresource.wales and a sister site called walescouncilforoutdoorslearning.org – or similar – to espouse my take on outdoor learning and sustainable and equitable use of the natural environment. To be honest I see little benefit in any connectivity with NRW given the appalling policy decisions made by that agency and any campaigns based on hashtags and leaflets I see as jobs for the well connected and little difference made to the actual delivery the ground. Maybe you could inform me of the total number of providers, both large medium and one person band that operate in Wales and of that number how many are known to be actively engaging with #WalesOutdoorLearningWeek

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Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)