Nine out of ten Norwegians take part in some form of outdoor recreation, but the emphasis has shifted over the years from practical activities such as hunting and fishing to purely leisure pursuits such as walking, cycling and swimming.
Fewer opportunities for varied outdoor recreation
Many outdoor recreation areas are being lost, especially in and near towns and built-up areas. Access to the coastline is becoming more restricted. In Norway, there is a legal right of access to uncultivated land, but despite this there is pressure to restrict access in many areas. Pollution, litter and noise on land and water also reduce people’s enjoyment of areas that are used for outdoor recreation.
Voluntary organisations play an important role
The authorities can maintain access to the coastline and beaches by designating areas they own as outdoor recreation areas or drawing up agreements with landowners. Local authorities must also safeguard outdoor recreation areas through their planning activities. Outdoor activities are part of the curriculum for day care centres and schools.
Voluntary organisations also play an important part in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation for example by maintaining footpaths and ski trails and in encouraging people to join in different activities.