Double celebrations for North York Moors volunteers
Volunteers in the North York Moors are celebrating after scooping the top prize in two of the four categories at the National Parks UK Volunteer Awards 2017.
Caitlin McCauley, aged 19 from Richmond, North Yorkshire, achieved the accolade of ‘Young Person of the Year’ following her summer of volunteering with the Education Team at the North York Moors National Park Authority.
Caitlin dedicated her free time to working with groups of children from in and around the Middlesbrough area, leading them on woodland trails and foraging hunts, as well as teaching skills such as compass-reading and shelter building.
The National Park Authority also came top in the ‘Best Project’ category with the Cleveland Way Adoption Scheme – an initiative that sees young families become custodians of their own stretch of the National Trail.
On achieving her award, Caitlin, who is currently studying for a degree in zoology at the University of Lincoln, said: “I had such a fantastic summer working with more than 200 children and young people in the North York Moors. My favourite activity was definitely ‘bug hunting’. The children often started out rather squeamish, but by the end of the session were gleefully identifying different species.
“I’d urge anybody and everybody to get involved with volunteering. Just find your nearest National Park, get in touch and get out there!”
The Cleveland Way Adoption Scheme involves a year’s commitment to walk, report, survey, improve and enjoy a designated section of the 109-mile National Trail, ensuring it is well looked after for everyone to enjoy.
Tammy Andrews, who oversees the Cleveland Way Adoption Scheme at the North York Moors National Park, said: “We’re over-the-moon that our work with volunteer families has been recognised at a national level. Working with these dedicated and enthusiastic groups is such a privilege. They really get to know their section well and enjoy seeing how the scenery and wildlife changes through the year.”
Also in attendance at the award ceremony was Beaumont family from Danby, who have adopted a 3.4 mile section of the Cleveland Way from Lordstones to Clay Bank.
Jacqui Beaumont said: “The scheme has fostered a shared experience for my husband and I and our four children. My hope is that through our maintenance and regular patrols, we can give something back so that future generations can also enjoy our beautiful area.”
The awards were presented by BAFTA-winning adventurer, writer and television presenter Steve Backshall, at the Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday 18 November.
The 2017 National Parks UK Volunteer Awards were supported by Columbia Sportswear and Natural Resources Wales.
For more information about the awards and the other prize-winners, please visit: http://bit.ly/NationalParksVolunteerAwards
Nina beadle, Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority
The North York Moors National Park
The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres) the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 7.9 million visitors a year.
The National Park has two visitor centres, The Moors National Park Centre, Danby and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.
The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.
To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, visit www.northyorkmoors.org.uk
About our National Parks and volunteers
The UK is home to 15 National Parks that span the length and breadth of the country. National Parks are protected because of their outstanding countryside, important wildlife and special cultural heritage; they also make important contributions to our economy and society and form part of our national identity. They are of huge importance to the people who live and work within them, as well as the many millions who visit for recreation and tourism. Volunteers are the lifeblood of National Parks, putting in thousands of hours to conserve and enhance our National Parks for future generations; the annual Volunteer Awards were set up to recognise the hard work of volunteers deemed to have gone above and beyond the usual expectations of volunteer service. www.nationalparks.gov.uk
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