This is an archived press release
Thursday 28 November 2013
Peak District National Park volunteer rangers have won two out of three awards in the 2013 UK National Parks Volunteer Awards for their outstanding contributions.
The annual awards recognise people's efforts over and above those normally expected of volunteers that have helped make national parks better places. The awards are organised by National Parks UK supported by Merrell, Natural Resources Wales and Natural England.
One of the judges, BBC Countryfile TV presenter, Julia Bradbury said: "Volunteers are a great source of pride across the National Parks. The breadth of dedication and altruism all the volunteers offer across the country is inspirational."
There were 44 nominations across three categories. The winners were:
- UK Volunteer of the Year: Dr Chamu Kuppuswamy, Peak District National Park, who won outdoor kit from Merrell.
- UK Volunteer Group of the Year: Peak District National Park volunteer rangers won £1,000 towards future volunteering projects.
- UK Volunteer Project of the Year: A Woollen Line, Brecon Beacons National Park, won £1,000 towards future work.
Dr Chamu Kuppuswamy, a law lecturer at Sheffield University, qualified as a Peak District National Park Authority volunteer ranger in 2012. She won UK Volunteer of the Year for championing the national park to ethnic minority communities and using social media to raise awareness of the connection between local issues and global environmental challenges.
Dr Kuppuswamy said: "I have an amazing time whenever I am volunteering in the Peak District National Park and I am absolutely thrilled to be awarded for that. I think it is important to introduce people to what national parks can offer and get everyone thinking about our response to environmental challenges – it's the best way to keep these places special."
Peak District National Park volunteer rangers won Volunteer Group of the Year for their dedication and commitment to community and environmental work, in particular for the guided walks they provide for people with physical and mental health problems. The walks are thoroughly researched by the volunteers and enrich their and others' understanding of the Peak District. They have provided the walks for over twenty years.
Cllr Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority said: "It is absolutely wonderful for our volunteer rangers' endeavours to be recognised in this way.
"These are ordinary people who make an extraordinary contribution to national park purposes. They turn out throughout the year, in their own time, in all weathers to work in many different ways to help make the national park special for everyone."
The Authority's volunteer rangers and Peak Park Conservation Volunteers carry out more than 7,000 volunteer days of work every year in the Peak District National Park.
To become a volunteer ranger go to www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ranger-training or call 01629 816200.
More details about the winners at www.nationalparks.gov.uk/aboutus/jobs/volunteerawards-2013
There are 15 national parks in the UK: Brecon Beacons, The Broads, Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs, and Yorkshire Dales.