This is an archived press release
Thursday 16 April 2009
16 April 2009
Youngsters swop urban streets for high peaks
Young people from Oldham and Rochdale have spent a year getting to know the countryside as well as their own communities through environmental projects in the Peak District National Park.
The youngsters, who were unlikely to have visited the countryside before, were taking part in the “Youth Reach the Peak” and “Peak District Farming” projects, both run by Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale.
“Youth Reach the Peak” included environmental action days and trips to the national park, culminating in a stay at a national park residential centre, Brunts Barn near Grindleford. The young people learned how to find their way, using maps. They did practical conservation work, helping build fences and pathways, and applied their new skills to complete a community garden for the residents of Coldhurst Hollow.
“Peak District Farming” involved three primary schools - St Hilda’s, Horton Mill and Roundthorn. Children who had little idea where their food came from were introduced to cows, sheep and hens at Blaze Farm, Wildboarclough, where one of the farm-products was highly-popular - HillyBilly ice-cream.
The youngsters learned about the importance of farming to the landscape, and about national parks and environmental conservation.
The projects were helped by £4,440 from the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund, with support from the national park’s Ranger Service and Losehill Hall, its centre for environmental learning.
Graham Gibbons, Groundwork’s communities team leader, said: “We’re really grateful to the Sustainable Development Fund for helping facilitate projects that gave youngsters an important opportunity to experience first-hand the fantastic resource on their doorstep which is the Peak District National Park.
“The visits were greatly enjoyed and were successful in raising young people’s awareness of environmental issues as well as allowing them to connect with the countryside and the origin of their food.”