This is an archived press release
Tuesday 11 October 2011HRH the Prince of Wales sent a message of support and good wishes to the Peak District National Park in its 60th anniversary year.
The Prince’s message was read out at a service of celebration in Edale Parish Church, attended by civic dignitaries from across the national park, staff and members of the National Park Authority, leaders of partner organisations and local people.
“It gives me particular pleasure to congratulate the Peak District National Park on its 60th anniversary,” wrote the Prince, who has visited the area many times.
He praised the Peak District’s record in pioneering services that are now an accepted part of country life. He singled out the ranger service, which began in Edale in the 1950s, for providing a bridge between farmers and visitors that helped ensure hill-farming is not remote and inaccessible but a rewarding way of life.
He went on: “On my many visits to the Peak District, I – like so many – have been delighted to witness the very best of hill-farming at work. This careful stewardship will ensure that the national park – and upland farming – thrives for many years to come.”
The Prince, a farmer himself, was the driving force behind Peak Choice, a farmers’ co-operative marketing initiative to sell Peak District lamb and beef online.
“I very much hope that over the next 60 years the Peak District National Park will continue its important national and global conservation work,” he continued, citing the examples set by low-energy village halls and farms producing their own energy from waste.
He concluded: “The beauty of the wide open moors, flower-rich dales, farmsteads, great houses and charming villages all speak for themselves, but they would be nothing without the hard work of those volunteers who give up their time for the care of the Peak District National Park. I really cannot thank you enough for all that you do.”
The service was organised by Authority chair Tony Favell, who has lived in Edale for more than 40 years, and was led by the Rev Dr Simon Cocksedge, vicar of Edale, who spoke of the Peak District as a bounty to be shared with all who visit.
Among organisations represented were: Derbyshire County Council, Cheshire East Council, Sheffield City Council, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak, Kirklees, North East Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands councils, the Peak Park Parishes Forum, Friends of the Peak District, the Campaign for National Parks, the National Trust and the local agricultural shows.
The actual 60th anniversary was in April when a number of celebrations were held, shortly followed in May by the re-opening of former railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail which has added a new dimension for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.