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National Park rewarded for best countryside projects

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 28 November 2006

28 November 2006

National Park rewarded for best countryside projects

Two new ways to explore the Peak District National Park were rewarded in the CPRE/Friends of the Peak District annual Countryside Awards for 2006.

The top Interpretation and Access prize went to the BESST Project’s “Heritage Walks” guide-book, which gives a full historic and archaeological background to a series of White Peak walks and encourages people to support local traders along the way.

Runner-up was the Moors for the Future project for its Audio-Trails – a podcast series of narrated walks that can be downloaded from the www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk website.

The Peak District National Park Authority is lead partner for both projects, and its representatives were delighted to receive the awards from the CPRE/Friends of the Peak District branch president Lord Hattersley at Losehill Hall.

Chair of judges Christopher Pennell, former regional director of the National Trust, said: “We applaud the National Park Authority for producing the innovative book of White Peak landscape and village walks, packed with heritage scholarship which is also highly accessible and user-friendly for the average walker wanting to know more about the Park’s rich history, and helps support the local economy.”

The background was written by National Park senior survey archaeologist John Barnatt – himself the recent winner of the top prize in the British Archaeology Awards.

Moors for the Future’s Audio-Trails were praised for their innovative MP3-led guided walks which the judges thought “a positive attempt to interest a younger audience.” There are now six podcast walks – the latest on Surprise View near Hathersage  released last week, with narration and music from Youth Rangers and interviews with members of the public and rangers. Another seven follow next year.

BESST (Business and Environment linked through Small Scale Tourism) is an international partnership linking the Peak District with similar high-quality landscape areas in Sweden and Norway, supported by the EU Interreg programme. It helps local small tourism concerns to use the landscape and cultural background as a positive business asset.

The CPRE/Friends of the Peak District’s other top prize, for building design, went to Allan Joyce Architects for the Peak Rural Housing Association flats for the elderly in Bakewell which incorporate a new Bakewell Air Cadet Force building and parade ground.

Runner-up in this section was Coda Studios Ltd, for the conversion of the once-derelict Millbridge Farm in Castleton to provide local housing.

Summed-up Mr Pennell: “The real winner here is the Peak District, whose character is protected, enhanced and explained by all these entries.”

  • The “Heritage Walks” book is £9.99 from Visitor Centres, local bookshops and participating BESST businesses. See also www.besst.org

This is an archived press release

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