This is an archived press release
Wednesday 25 May 2005
25 May 2005
Children reach out to celebrate European Day of Parks
Urban and rural children swapped schools for a day to help spread the word about the special qualities of the Peak District National Park.
Children from Westmorland and St Paul's primary schools in Stockport, and Porters Croft and Hunters Bar primary schools in Sheffield, celebrated European Day of Parks by changing places with pupils from Bamford, Edale, Hathersage and Hope.
The exchange of one class from each school, using public transport, opened the eyes of urban and rural schoolchildren to the different lives they lead in city and country.
Peak District National Park rangers and volunteers from each area gave the children guided walks and activities after visiting their partner school.
Organiser Peter Townsend, of the Hope Valley Schools National Park Travel Group, said: "Everybody got a lot out of the day, some of the city children were amazed how small the schools can be in the countryside, with as many pupils in the whole school as they have in just one class.
"The rangers were able to show the city children that the Peak District is special, that it's their national park to enjoy, and that it's within easy reach of their homes by bus or train."
The exchange was part-funded by the Hope Valley/High Peak Transport Partnership.
European Day of Parks (May 24) was launched in 1999 by the Europarc Federation to raise the profile of protected areas throughout the continent, including the Peak District, which was Britain's first national park - founded in 1951.