This is an archived press release
Wednesday 22 February 2006
22 February 2006
Ethnic groups build links with National Parks
Black and minority ethnic (BME) community group leaders gathered in the heart of the Peak District National Park to boost their community’s involvement with National Parks in England and Wales.
The spectacular Losehill Hall Study Centre near Castleton provided the setting for the first annual get-together of the Mosaic Partnership’s Community Champions for National Parks. The Champions came together to join in workshops and training activities while experiencing first-hand the beauty of the Peak District.
National Parks came into being over 50 years ago. At this time it was famously stated that “National Parks are not for any privileged or otherwise restricted section of the population, but for all who care to refresh their minds and spirits and to exercise their bodies in a peaceful setting of natural beauty”
"This sense of ownership of the whole community is currently missing,” says Junie Joseph, Mosaic Partnership Community Champions Officer. “The project therefore aims to equip the Community Champions with the skills and confidence they need to get themselves and their communities more involved in enjoying and ensuring the future care of National Parks, either as volunteers, employees, or well informed visitors.”
There are four National Parks involved in the Mosaic Partnership: the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors in Northern England and the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, as well as the YHA (3) and the Council for National Parks.
Shabana Din, a Keighley–based Community Champion for National Parks said of last week’s event, “Through all the sessions it was evident that Mosaic wanted to listen to what the Champions had to say and I'm confident that people’s suggestions will be taken on board. What really shone through was the passion that the Mosaic team had in their commitment to get BME communities into the National Parks.”
The Mosaic Partnership is a three and half year project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is managed by the Council for National Parks, the leading national charity that works to protect and enhance the National Parks of England and Wales.