Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Peak District Mosaic secures National Lottery funding to champion national parks

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Peak District MosaicPeak District Mosaic has secured £557,955 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver its Championing National Parks for Everyone project - helping more people to explore, enjoy and understand the countryside and nature.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of, and improve accessibility to, three national parks - the Peak District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales - among ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

Peak District Mosaic is partnering with the three national park authorities to train community champions, support people to visit the parks independently and to consider jobs in the environmental sector.

The Peak District National Park Foundation has also contributed £11,341 as part of match-funding to the project.

The Peak District National Park Authority’s Engagement Team will provide line management support as an in-kind contribution and Derbyshire Dales Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) is supporting Mosaic’s charity development.

Championing National Parks for Everyone will build on a long-term partnership between the Peak District National Park Authority and Peak District Mosaic to support diverse communities to experience the countryside. There has been collaboration on a number of projects, including delivery of Peak Wise Community Champion training in 2017 and 2021.

The project will include outreach events, monthly activity programmes in each of the national parks, community champion training, champion-led events and further training in outdoor skills. It will also develop a legacy plan focused on Community Champion network support.

Yvonne Witter, chair of Peak District Mosaic, said: "It is a great privilege for us to be leading this project in partnership with the Peak District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities.

"National Parks are outstandingly beautiful places. Being able to visit, enjoy and care for them is hugely beneficial for physical health and mental well-being.

"The support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund means that, working together, we can develop a programme and support diverse communities to learn about the landscapes and to access them for recreational activities and enjoyment.

"Together we will recruit and train people in communities around the three national parks to champion the parks for their friends, families and work colleagues. This will continue the legacy of what began several years ago as a national programme led by the Campaign for National Parks."

Rachael Lyon, Peak District National Park Authority engagement manager, added: "Peak District Mosaic has already been working to this model for several years and we are building on that legacy. This is a new way of sharing the model and re-invigorating the community champion project."

Heather McNiff, head of outdoor learning and engagement at the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: "Access to green spaces is so incredibly important to our physical and mental wellbeing and, as we face climate uncertainty, we want to share just how special our landscapes and habitats are, so that as many people as possible feel motivated to want to save them.

"We already work with some fantastic community champions, but the National Parks for Everyone project will allow us to expand this network and offer new events, a monthly activity programme and a series of short films."

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