This is an archived press release

Monday 24 May 2004

24 May 2004


Today (Monday 24 May) is international Europarc Day and to celebrate a new Youth Ranger programme is being launched in the Peak District.

The National Park Authority and Connexions Derbyshire are piloting the scheme for 13 to 15 year olds with three secondary schools bordering the Park: Buxton Community School, Buxton; Anthony Gell School, Wirksworth and Highfields School, Matlock.

The idea for the Peak District Youth Ranger initiative came from Sally Kempson, the National Park Authority's Environmental Awareness & Education Ranger, who has developed the scheme. Sally said: "This a great opportunity for local children to learn about the role and work of the ranger, learn new skills and benefit from the wonderful environment on their doorsteps."

Training for the Youth Rangers is in three parts.
· The first stage involves the teenagers in a week-long residential course at Hagg Farm, in June, where they will learn navigation skills, how to plan routes and interprete the landscape as well as experience practical conservation tasks and learn about traditional woodland management and survival skills.
· The second stage takes place in September and October when the students will be released from school to attend day-long sessions. The children will carry out conservation work and study ecological surveying and tourism management in the National Park.
· The final stage is for the young people to be advocates for the Youth Ranger programme and the National Park by carrying out activities in their own communities and local environment and encouraging other youngsters to join the scheme.

The children's skills and achievements will be accredited through the National Park Authority's formal ranger training scheme and successful Youth Rangers will receive certificates and badges.

Sally added: "We hope the scheme will strengthen the links between local communities and the National Park and give the children a better understanding and an extra interest in the environment to grow up with."

Two lucky Youth Rangers will be selected to attend the International Youth Ranger Camp in Austria in August. There they will meet young people from other European National Parks, including Poland and Croatia, and carry out conservation tasks and learn about different cultures.

Europarc Day is a celebration of National Parks throughout Europe. It is organised by EUROPARC, a federation of European organisations dedicated to linking people across Europe to help save precious landscapes.

This is an archived press release

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