Photo: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
To celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2011 the Campaign for National Parks (CNP) is launching the Park Protector Award - a brand new initiative that aims to showcase the work of inspiring individuals and ambitious projects that are committed to protecting all 13 National Parks of England and Wales. Entry for nominations opens today and closes on 31st December 2010. Nominations within the Yorkshire Dales are sought in the following categories:
- Restoration – through a distinct project or activity that restores the built or natural heritage of an area in one of the National Parks of England and Wales
- Protection – through a campaign that leads to the successful protection of a distinct area within one of the National Parks of England and Wales
- Conservation – through a distinct project or activity that conserves the natural environment and contributes to the biodiversity of one of the National Parks of England and Wales
A shortlist of projects will be drawn up by a panel of experts led by CNP and an overall winner will be announced in the spring of 2011 to coincide with CNP’s 75th anniversary. As well as receiving the Park Protector Award the winning project or individual will receive a bursary of £2,000 to help sustain their important work.
The explorer and BBC broadcaster Nick Crane is patron of the Award and will sit on the judging panel. He says of the Award - ‘National Parks are a fantastic asset that must never be taken for granted. The Park Protector Award is a wonderful idea and I am delighted to be its patron.’
The Award is being sponsored by HF Holidays who are the UK’s biggest walking and leisure holiday company, a co-operative society and owner of 15 Country Houses in or near National Parks. HF Holidays were a founding member of the Campaign for National Parks back in 1936 and their support of the Park Protector Award some 75 years later reaffirms their commitment to helping to safeguard those landscapes in which they operate as a business.
Joanna Hall, Communications Manager for the Campaign for National Parks explains the thinking behind the Award: ‘Almost 75 years after we started to pave the way for National Parks, these iconic landscapes remain under threat despite their special status in law. CNP will continue to push National Parks up the political agenda and demonstrate their role and importance to wider society, highlighting the excellent work that they do to conserve wildlife, promote healthier lifestyles and build sustainable communities. At the same time by launching this annual Award we can acknowledge and support the unsung heroes of the Yorkshire Dales, many of whom volunteer their time for free and work tirelessly on the ground to restore habitats, conserve traditional ways of life and protect this beautiful landscape from unnecessary destruction’.
Nominations for the first Award are open between September and December 2010 and can be made via CNP’s website – http://www.cnp.org.uk/features/park-protector or by contacting Liz Wall on 020 7924 4077 ext 223. Projects in the Yorkshire Dales are welcomed. Projects may vary in size and can include partnerships or joint ventures set up for funding and / or delivery purposes. The project must run throughout 2010 and ideally be active at the time of the Award in the spring of 2011.