Peak District volunteers shortlisted for UK National Parks Awards
Wednesday 7 November 2018
Volunteers working in the Peak District National Park are in the running for national awards.
Young volunteer Osian Wilson and groups Eastern Moors Young Rangers and Peak District MTB are shortlisted in the UK National Parks Volunteering Awards 2018, which are sponsored by Columbia Sportswear.
The awards recognise the outstanding contribution that volunteers make in helping to care for these precious landscapes and inspiring others to safeguard them for future generations.
There are four categories of award - individuals, young people, groups and projects.
Osian Wilson is shortlisted in the Young Person category, open to volunteers aged 25 or younger. He has been volunteering with the Eastern Moors Partnership for two years, helping to look after 14 square miles of upland habitat owned by the Peak District National Park.
Osian, who has autism, has built drystone walls, repaired paths, pulled ragwort, cut bracken, planted trees, felled trees, litter picked and carried out ecological surveys. He spends at least nine hours volunteering each week and has made himself an integral part of the Eastern Moors team.
Eastern Moors Youth Rangers and Peak District MTB are shortlisted in the Groups category.
The Eastern Moors Youth Rangers group was set up in 2013 for young people, aged 11 to 18, from the rural and urban communities surrounding the Eastern and Burbage moors.
Youth rangers work with rangers, wardens and project officers to carry out practical conservation tasks, visitor infrastructure repairs and improvements, wildlife monitoring and events.
The Peak District MTB Maintenance Team works to preserve and enhance the reputation of the Peak District as one of the best places in the world to ride a mountain bike.
Volunteers take part in a number of activities to protect, promote and preserve mountain biking in the National Park. In addition to working with authorities and landowners to discuss the activity, Peak District MTB members spend many hours working on path maintenance, drainage and development to preserve access, protect the area and promote good relationships across user groups. They work with partners, the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire County Council, to carry out sensitive repairs to many of the most popular trails in the Peak District. They also actively campaign for responsible riding and respect of other groups.
Sarah Wilks, head of outreach development at the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We’re thrilled to see Osian Wilson, Eastern Moors Youth Rangers and Peak District MTB recognised as outstanding volunteers in these awards.
“We value immensely the work of our volunteers and it’s great it is to be able to celebrate their achievements and recognise their invaluable contribution to our National Parks.”
The judging panel was made up of volunteer co-ordinators from the UK’s 15 National Parks and the winners of each category will be announced at the Kendal Mountain Festival on 17th November. All winners will receive prizes provided by Columbia Sportswear and a £1000 bursary will be awarded to group and project winners to help their volunteer work.