Great outdoors now a greater attraction

MORE people are using the outdoors for recreation, according to latest Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) figures.

Nearly half of Scots go outside for leisure at least once a week, according to SNH’s Scottish recreation survey.

Leisure visits outdoors went up from 46 per cent in 2009 to 48 per cent in 2010 and up four per cent on 2006 figures.

SNH’s Richard Davison said: “This is great news. Spending time outdoors is fun and very rewarding, and is a great way to improve your health for free.

“The reasons for the increase will be many and varied but we believe our work on encouraging more people to visit the outdoors and the excellent work being done by local authorities and many others is helping to inspire people to get outdoors.”

Walking is the most popular outdoor recreational activity and was the main activity on 73 per cent of visits to the outdoors in 2010. Family outings, the main activity on eight per cent of visits, was next in terms of popularity. This was followed by cycling and mountain biking, the main activity on five per cent of visits.