National parks - as relevant today as 60 years ago

This is an archived press release

Monday 18 May 2009

18 May 2009

National parks - as relevant today as 60 years ago

A series of family events are being held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the legislation that created national parks.

The 1949 National Parks and Access to Countryside Act led to the creation of:

  • 15 UK national parks, including the Peak District National Park in 1951.
  • 49 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)
  • 294 National Nature Reserves and
  • 2,900 miles of national trails

Sixty years later the Peak District National Park remains at the forefront of issues that have an impact on the lives of everyone, including tackling climate change and preventing flooding.

A series of activities will take place between now and 16 December, the actual anniversary of the Act becoming law, for residents and visitors.

The 60th anniversary celebrations will begin with a series of guided walks that will also mark National Family Week, which runs from Monday 25 May to Sunday 31 May.

Narendra Bajaria, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves and National Trails are success stories that have changed the face of Britain.

“As the demand for land increases it is more crucial than ever that we have these natural ‘breathing spaces’ protected for current and future generations to enjoy. No matter what your background, or how much money you have, national parks offer something for you.”

A national website has been set up to tell the public about events happening around the country, as well as to provide information about the history and current work of national parks. It can be seen at  A section has also been created on the Peak District National Park Authority website. It can be seen at  

The events planned for National Family Week are:

Monday 25 May

Family Walk. WANTED! Lead Miners at Magpie Mine - 1.30pm to 4pm

Join us for half- term fun at the famous remains of Magpie Mine. Start the day by making a miner’s hat, then head off to the lead mines to find out about the life of a miner through games and activities. This event involves a one-mile walk over fields with some stiles. Meet at the Cock and Pullet pub, Sheldon. Booking is essential on 01298 84992.

Tuesday 26 May

Family Fun ‘Earth’ Walk - 11am to 2pm.

A two-mile walk for children and families, with activities, to explore nature along the Monsal Trail. Children must be accompanied. Meet Millers Dale Old Station. Booking is essential on (01298) 871869.

Wednesday 27 May

Earth Explorers Wanted! - a fun filled activity walk for families - 10.30am to 3.30pm

Three-mile easy walk to discover a beautiful dale, with lots of activities aimed at children aged 5 to 11. Meet by the telephone box in the centre of Middleton-by-Youlgreave. Booking essential: 01298 84992.

Wednesday 27 May

Introduction to Longdendale - 11am to 3pm

Five-mile easy-going walk looking at the history and countryside of the Longdendale valley.  Meet at Hadfield Railway Station (GR: SK024961)

Wednesday 27 May

Edale Tree Trail - any time between 10am and 4pm

A day of activities at the Moorland Visitor Centre, Edale.

  • Come along and find out about the wildlife living in the trees - day and night.
  • Identify the trees in the grounds of the Moorland Centre and help us to create a collage in the centre identifying trees.   
  • Various games leading up to the tree trail at 1pm.
  • Join the area ranger on a short trail to meet Edale’s veteran tree.

Ring the Moorland Visitor Centre for further details on 01433 670207

Thursday 28 May

Family day - 1pm to 3.30pm

Castleton Visitor Centre hosts an event for all the family. Come along and try river dipping, a meadow sweep and searching for mini beasts. River Dipping - look and learn about what can be found in our rivers

  • Meadow Sweep - grab a net, sweep it across the grass and see what you can pick up.
  • Mini Beast hunt - looking for bugs and other creepy crawlies under rocks and old logs.
  • Dry stone walling demonstration by the National Trust.

Booking is essential on 01629 816572

Saturday 30 May

Peregrine Watch - 1.15pm to 4.15pm

One-mile stroll to watch a site where Peregrine falcons can be seen.  It is useful to bring binoculars to this event. Meet Wetton village car park (GR: SK108552).  Booking is essential on 01298 84992.  

Saturday 30 May

War and Peace - 10.30am to 3.30pm

A six-mile moderate walk looking at World War Two history in the Langsett area. Meet Langsett Barn (GR: SE211004)

Sunday 31 May

Wormhill and Blackwell Circular - 11.30am to 4.30pm

A 4½ mile moderate walk looking at the geology, landscape and local history of the Upper Wye Valley. Meet Wye Dale car park (GR: SK104725).

Sunday 31 May

Peregrine Watch - 9.30am to 4.30pm

A five-mile walk visiting a site where peregrines have nested here for the last three years. Involves some steep climbs. Participants need to bring money for a bus ride and it is also useful to bring binoculars. Meet Fairholmes Ranger Centre by Derwent Reservoir. Booking is essential 01433 659986.  

  • For bus services, consult Traveline or 0871 200 2233.
  • For Peak District National Park visitor enquiries: 01629 816558 or email or
  • For other National Family Week events:

This is an archived press release

Share this page