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Peak Youth Rangers on Austrian adventure

This is an archived press release

Monday 18 July 2005

18 July 2005

Peak Youth Rangers on Austrian adventure

Rafting, mountain biking and hiking are on the all-action schedule for four young people from the Peak District when they take part in an international junior ranger summit in Austria.

The foursome will be representing the Peak District National Park in the Europarc International Youth Ranger Congress in the Gesäuse National Park in Austria, starting on July 31.

Youngsters from nine European countries will learn about conservation issues within each others' national parks, each giving presentations about their own protected area, learned during the past year on the Youth Ranger programme.

The week-long congress includes field trips on forestry, mountain pastures and wildlife and will learn about the cultures and heritage of their different areas.

The Peak District party, David Cook, Adam Kennerley, Sophie Monkman and Zoë Hemingway, trained as part of a 12-strong Youth Rangers group from Lady Manners (Bakewell), St Philip Howard (Glossop) and New Mills schools.

Activities include learning how to navigate in the countryside, interpretation of the landscape, conservation, biodiversity and tourism management. They have slept outdoors, built their own shelters, cooked over a campfire and researched wildlife, including a bat walk at night.

The Youth Rangers, aged 13 to 15, have their own website: www.youthrangers.com, and have designed their own biodiversity T-shirts, to be shown at the Peak District National Park open day, "Just Do It", at Losehill Hall on July 26 (starts noon).

They will do more training in the autumn, culminating in leading a guided walk for their school.

Last year Peak District Youth Rangers attended the Europarc Federation's camp in the Danube Wetlands, with participants from 10 European countries.

Sally Kempson, Youth Rangers project manager, said: "This is a great opportunity for local children to learn about conservation and biodiversity in and around where they live, and in other protected areas, to find out about the role of the ranger, learn new skills and benefit from the wonderful environment on their doorsteps."

The Peak District Youth Ranger scheme has received £25,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This is an archived press release

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