The Lyme Bay kayaking incident of 1993, in which four children died, led to an Act of Parliament and the introduction by the British Government of the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), a body established to regulate adventurous recreational and educational outdoor activities. The perception at the time, a view to which some commentators still hold, was that the introduction of licensing would reduce the opportunities for young people to experience adventure and outdoor activities, and licensing was almost universally condemned by the outdoor sector. Using questionnaires and interviews, this research compares the perception of the effect of licensing to its reception over the first 10 years. Contrary to popular perception, it was found that AALA is seen in a positive light, and the research further indicated that, at the 18 centres studied, opportunities for young children to experience sea kayaking as a medium for outdoor education appear to have increased.
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