New National Park ‘Ambassador’ centres are bringing the story of the Peak District to life for the region’s young people
Thursday 5 December 2019
A range of outdoor activity, education and residential centres from around the region have become Peak District National Park ‘Ambassador Centres’.
The new partnership agreements between the National Park Authority and centres based in around the Peak District, deliver a commitment for youngsters to learn more about the UK’s original National Park, how to care for it and how to inspire others about the area’s special qualities.
The launch of Ambassador Centres comes as a recent independent review of protected landscapes in England (including National Parks) highlighted the need for more young people to re-connect with the outdoors, and reverse the trend of so-called ‘nature deficit disorder’.
Alongside showcasing the National Park to diverse audiences, centres with ambassador status will also improve their own environmental credentials around aspects such as use of plastics and renewable energy.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s St Michael’s Environmental Education Centre, in Hathersage, is the first to become an Ambassador Centre for the Peak District National Park. It has been providing high quality outdoor learning experiences for primary school children for over 34 years.
Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority said: “We’re delighted that St Michael’s is the first of our Peak District National Park ‘Ambassador Centres’. This scheme is at the heart of our ongoing engagement work with local communities, not only in the National Park itself, but in the vast region surrounding it.
“With some 13 million people within an hour’s drive of the National Park, Ambassador Centres like St Michael’s have the opportunity to provide stepping stones into communities where youngsters can begin to discover how caring for and protecting our National Parks is good for us all.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s committee commented: “I am very proud that St Michael’s is the first Ambassador Centre for this area. This partnership will mean an enhanced outdoor learning experience at our centre. In addition to the experienced team at St Michael’s, young people will directly benefit from conservation and environmental education and training provided by a team of expert rangers caring for the environment.
“As an Ambassador Centre, the aim is that even more young people will be able to benefit from the quality outdoor learning on offer while immersed in the special environment of the Peak District.”
Since the launch of St Michael’s in October, further centres have been joined the Ambassador scheme, including YHA Edale Activity Centre, Hagg Farm Outdoor Education Centre (Nottinghamshire County Council) and Lockerbrook Centre (Woodcraft Folk).
More information about our Ambassador Centres is at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ambassador-centres.