On the 70th anniversary of the passing of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949) we must recognise that people have always had and will continue to have an enormous role to play in our National Parks. People working together first gave us National Parks and this year we will be celebrating those people still making a difference with the Campaign for National Parks’ Park Protector Award and the Year of Green Action Award.
The themes of the Year of Green Action are connect, protect and improve, which closely align with the purposes and function of our National Parks.
That is why it is right that this year we will be celebrating the projects delivering this vision alongside the Campaign for National Parks – the body that successfully fought to establish the National Parks in the first place.
From my experience travelling the diverse and beautiful landscapes of the Parks I know that there is work to be done, whether that is work to enhance nature or introduce more people than ever to the glory of the countryside. But I also know that very challenge is being embraced by projects up and down the country.
There are projects improving wheelchair or blind access to the outdoors; projects restoring the habitats of some of our most endangered species; and projects establishing a deep and wonderful connection between people and the natural world.
I urge those running these projects to apply. The two awards could make all the difference and would be a just recognition of the hard work people from all walks of life are undertaking.
National Parks are one of the crowning achievements of past 100 years of the environmental movement. Seventy years on from their establishment, you can become part of history and celebrate the future with the Park Protector and Year of Green Action Awards.
Lord Gardiner ,Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity
The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.
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