A volunteering club that brings together families with young children to learn about the environment and carry out practical conservation tasks is opening its doors to new members.
The North York Moors Explorer Volunteers meet twice a month, usually on a Sunday, to help look after the National Park and its habitats. Tasks range from collecting litter and pruning hedges, to clearing drainage culverts, planting trees and tackling invasive species. There’s also lots of fun and adventure to be had, with families getting a chance to experience everything from the glorious coast to the sweeping heather moorland.
Tammy Andrews has been involved with family volunteering at the North York Moors National Park Authority for the last ten years. Tammy said:
“The benefits for families are numerous. There’s the quality time spent together learning new skills, the social interaction with others, the physical exercise and the immersion in the natural world. All of these things can have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”
The ideal age for participating children is between four and 11 years old and extended family members, such as grandparents, are more than welcome to join in. All equipment and training is provided, with tools available for both adults and children.
Tammy is always impressed by how well young children listen to the health and safety briefings, to the point where they’re quick to correct any adult who isn’t following protocol. She said:
“I love hearing that a child has 'told off' their adult for leaving a tool on the ground, even in their own garden at home. It shows just how engaged they are in our sessions, and that they are taking the skills and knowledge they learn here into other areas of their life.”
Kerry-Anne has been volunteering with her husband Dan and two daughters, Avery (eight) and Addison (six), since 2019. Dan’s mother and father also often take part. Kerry-Anne said:
“It’s time together as a family, outdoors and usually without a phone signal. It gives the girls a bigger view of the world and helps them appreciate what’s around us. We’ve made new friends who we see outside of our volunteering activities and it just has a really positive impact on our mental health. Good for the children but also good for us.”
For families interested in becoming Explorer Volunteers, two taster sessions will take place on Sunday 16 April (10am – 12noon or 1pm – 3pm) at Danby Lodge National Park Centre, near Whitby. The sessions will include bushcraft workshops and an opportunity to meet current volunteer families. To book your place, please email Tammy directly at email@example.com
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 become 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 7.7 million visitors a year.
The National Park has two visitor centres, Danby Lodge National Park Centre 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, please explore this website.