Llamas, pack-ponies & village projects get grant-aid

This is an archived press release

Friday 30 June 2006

30 June 2006

Llamas, pack-ponies & village projects get grant-aid

Peak District walkers could soon be doing a double-take at the sight of llamas being led by urban youngsters into the hills, or traditional pack-ponies climbing the moors.

The Sheffield and Peak District Llama Trekking project has been awarded a £1,000 grant from the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) for its novel way of encouraging city-based young people to venture out into the countryside. The llamas will be used as pack-animals to carry picnics or expedition equipment. Based in the Mayfield Valley, the project will include a visitor centre, and work with schools to help build closer links between the city and the Peak District National Park.

Also given £1,000 SDF support was the Peakland Pack Pony project. Run by Ecopona, a non-profit organisation, the project will develop the traditional use of pack-ponies to transport conservation materials to remote places such as moorlands.

These are just the latest of more than 150 business, social and village projects to win support from the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund for helping to sustain the quality of life in an environmentally-friendly way.

Typical of village schemes are Active Grindleford – which has just been awarded £1,000 to develop a website for a multi-activity club, increasing residents’ participation in sport and recreation – and Bradwell village school’s biodiversity project, which is receiving £1,000 to encourage species in the school grounds.

One third of Sheffield is in the Peak District National Park, and in the Upper Don Valley, a “Stone to Steel” education programme is being given £7,000 towards a festival centred on the history and culture of the area’s woodlands.

Also in the woods, Fletcher Forestry, in the Derwent Valley, is being awarded £2,475 to help develop innovative machinery that can take out wood from hard-to-reach environmentally-sensitive sites and use it for community projects.

And further afield, the multi-cultural youth group ARDIC, in Handsworth, Birmingham – which is so enthusiastic about the Peak District it wants to develop its own mini National Park visitor centre – is being given £6,500 to inform people about the activities and experiences available.

The Sustainable Development Fund is financed by Defra (Dept for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), and the independent Peak District grant-giving panel meets four times a year.

For more information about SDF, contact Richard Godley at the Peak District National Park Authority: 01629 816312 or e-mail or visit

This is an archived press release

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