Caring for the Peak District National Park one blade of grass at a time
Millie the Sheep is our official mascot and she is named after the iconic millstones of the UK's original National Park.
Millie was born on 17 April 2017, 66 years to the day since the Peak District was first designated as a National Park.
For her official launch, we sent her to space!
Millie in space
We wanted to launch Millie at the opening of our newly refurbished visitor centre in Castleton in July but the weather conditions weren’t right. We had a second attempt in September but a gust of wind at just the wrong moment left her and the giant weather balloon stuck in a tree! We managed to free her only for her to get stuck in another tree before we cancelled the mission.
On our third attempt we picked a field with no trees and on the 18 October, 2017 she sailed up peacefully for 18 miles.
Her space trip launch was enjoyed by Castleton Primary School. They witnessed Millie getting stuck in a tree and they were the first to see the video log of her journey and gave it their seal of approval.
By sharing her incredible journey we hope more people will understand the amazing role that National Parks like the Peak District play around the country and our planet.
Mission control feedback
The balloon which powered Millie's ascent was filled with "lighter than air" hydrogen gas. The difference in air pressure caused the balloon to rise up through the atmosphere to the lower layers of the stratosphere. The balloon reached an altitude of 29,750m (nearly 30km over 18 miles). Millie travelled at 55 m/s (123mph) and the total flight time was just over 2 hours.
As the air pressure decreased, the balloon continued to expand until it reached the point where the balloon’s natural latex couldn't expand any further and the balloon burst. At this point the air pressure was negligible and Millie flew down at around 200 miles per hour. As the air pressure increased, the pre-deployed parachute developed more and more air resistance, eventually slowing down to a speed of 5 m/s 11mph before Millie landed safely in Hive on the way to Hull.
Any sheep with a twitter account needs to have something to bleat about, so share you're adventures with Millie at...
Q: Where do sheep go to get their fleece cut?
A: The baa-baa shop!
Q: What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate?
A: A candy baa!
Q: What’s Millie’s favourite pop group?
Supporting the Peak District
Millie is another way of supporting the Peak District National Park by raising awareness, increasing our social media presence and raising funds to care for the Peak District National Park.