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Outdoor Activities, Negligence and the Law

Julian Fulbrook|
Ashgate (February 2006)

Recent years have witnessed several tragedies during school and youth expeditions. This in turn has led to legislation and the tight regulation of outdoor activity centres, with successive governments issuing guidelines for teachers and others supervising such activities.

Inevitably there will always be risk in relation to adventurous pursuits in the outdoors, but the law in this area seeks a balance between the educational benefits gained and the need to safeguard against potential hazards. Mythologies have arisen, including the suggestion that a 'blame culture' is so overwhelming that no youth worker or teacher can sensibly engage anymore in such activities.

This succinct guide to the legal position refers to a wide range of outdoor activities and recent legal cases. It demolishes some of the myths, pointing out common pitfalls noted in the research and in the litigation, together with an outline of robust safety features to combat potential hazards.

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