Over 60,000 school children visit the National Parks each year, however the Government has long promised to increase this number. We have joined with other charities and celebrities including writer Bill Bryson, TV wildlife presenter Gordon Buchanan and Ramblers president Stuart Maconie to demand action from the Government to more than double the number of children visiting National Parks each year.
In an open letter sent to Secretary of State Michael Gove, the well-known names also including Emmerdale actor Nick Miles, potter Emma Bridgewater and the former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, and actress Caroline Quentin say that inspiring the next generation to look after the natural world is imperative to meet society’s environmental challenges.
The charities behind the letter are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Act of Parliament that created National Parks, as some of the original organisations that came together to found them. 70 years on from the legislation, Campaign for National Parks, Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Open Spaces Society, Ramblers and the YHA are calling for Government action to safeguard their future.
Ramblers president, Stuart Maconie, said: “Being able to get out and about in the National Parks really can make a huge difference. Inspiring the next generation and giving them a love for getting outdoors will create a generation that wants to protect these incredible landscapes for the future and will benefit their future mental and physical wellbeing, helping them to thrive.”
Despite previous promises, years of government inaction has meant previous promises to increase the number of school visits to the National Parks have not been fulfilled, denying this enjoyment to tens of thousands of our school children.
“For many of the school children who currently visit the National Parks it is their first time experiencing truly dark skies, fresh air and adventure in beautiful countryside. The National Parks contain some of the country’s most important spaces including ancient heritage sites, spectacular waterfalls and important wildlife.”
“One only needs to look at the inspiring work of Greta Thunberg to know that school children can be fierce advocates for the environment. Given the seriousness of the environmental challenges we face, we have to give the next generation a fighting chance. That starts with inspiring them to love the natural world and our National Parks are well placed to do just that”, said Andrew Hall of Campaign for National Parks.
By joining the Ramblers, you will be supporting our work protecting the places we all love to walk, as well as having access to fantastic walking routes in National Parks and across the Great Britain. Find out more about how to join.