Day of celebrations for 60th anniversary of National Parks legislation

This is an archived press release

Monday 7 December 2009

07 December 2009

Day of celebrations for 60th anniversary of National Parks legislation

Award-winning novelist Berlie Doherty will be joined by Peak District school children to plant trees as part of a day of activities to celebrate national parks.  

The events are being held on Wednesday 16 December to celebrate the day 60 years ago that the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act became law.

The legislation created Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves, National Trails, and National Parks, with the Peak District the first to be designated two years later in 1951.

To mark the occasion author Berlie Doherty will join pupils from Elton CE Primary School to plant trees - donated by the Peak District National Park Authority - in Exlowmere Community Wood at Elton Moor.

Berlie is helping the national park authority celebrate the 60th anniversary by being a cultural champion. The author lives in Edale, which is the inspiration and setting for several of her stories.  

She said: “Where would we be without National Parks?  We need them. They are special places for people to enjoy and for people to live and work in.

“I love to be surrounded by the natural beauty of trees, hills, mountains and rivers so it is very fitting to be planting trees to celebrate the reason we have National Parks.”

Other tree planting ceremonies will happen at:

  • Bakewell allotment site - where Sustainable Bakewell and Bakewell Area Gardeners’ Action Group will plant eight fruit trees. The trees have been paid for by a £250 grant from the Peak District National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.
  • Aldern House, Bakewell - staff and members will plant six trees in the grounds of the national park authority’s headquarters, one for each decade.

The day’s celebrations will end with a reception for individuals and organisations that have played a big part in the history of the Peak District National Park.

At the ceremony Narendra Bajaria, the authority’s chair, will announce the winner of a public vote to decide how to spend £5,000 on a legacy project to benefit the national park. Members of the public can choose their favourite from seven shortlisted projects by visiting The deadline for votes is 11 December.

Narendra Bajaria, chair of the authority, said: “Thanks to the Act passed by parliament on 16 December 1949 there are now 15 National Parks protecting Britain’s most beautiful landscapes.

“National parks have a responsibility to make sure these areas remain protected for the benefit of current and future generations, while ensuring that communities within them continue to thrive.”

This is an archived press release

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