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Carry on walking in the Yorkshire Dales

[Monday 13 October 2008]

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is celebrating the achievements of a flagship project – by making sure people carry on walking.

Over the last seven years, the Authority has encouraged people from ethnic minorities to visit the National Park and become involved in promoting its huge variety of attractions to others in their communities.

The £1 million project, called the Mosaic Partnership, has now officially come to an end in the four National Parks that took part in it – the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, the Peak District and the Brecon Beacons.

I think the innovative approach to long-term engagement will be key to attracting minority communities to our National Parks. Active engagement like this within contemporary urban Britain should be held up as a fantastic example to others

Jonathan Shaw - National Parks Minister

But the YDNPA is not stopping there, according to Outreach Officer Catherine Kemp.

“The Mosaic Project’s main objective was to encourage inner city residents to enjoy the UK’s national parks and it has certainly done that.

“It has been a huge success locally involving scores of people from ethnic minorities in Keighley, Bradford and other outside areas coming in to the National Park to go on walks or to look around the villages and the countryside.

”We have recruited Community Champions, who have spent time in the Yorkshire Dales learning about its beauty and its attractions before going back and organising trips here for others in their communities.

“In fact, it has been so successful that we have decided to carry on the work with the Community Champions in Bradford and Keighley in the future”.

Challenges so far this year have included walking up Pen-y-ghent, a geocache trail in Buckden and kite flying. And more events will be planned for next year.

Nurjuhan Ali Arobi, a member of the Bradford community, said: “Mosaic gave me the skills and confidence to promote the Yorkshire Dales and help my community access the National Park.

“Before, we would not have been aware of what was available there in terms of facilities, let alone the sheer natural beauty and that it was a place for us all to enjoy.”

The Mosaic Partnership was hosted by the Campaign for National Parks and has resulted in more than 200 influential leaders of local ethnic minority communities now actively promoting the National Parks in their communities.

Jonathan Shaw, the Minister responsible for National Parks, said: “I think the innovative approach to long-term engagement will be key to attracting minority communities to our National Parks. Active engagement like this within contemporary urban Britain should be held up as a fantastic example to others.”

Anyone belonging to a community group who would like help and advice about bringing groups into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, can contact Catherine on 0800 1 666333 or email catherine.kemp@yorkshiredales.org.uk

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