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National Park unveils ‘wild’ award for families this summer

Family exploring at Sutton Bank. Credit North York Moors National ParkFamily exploring at Sutton Bank. Credit North York Moors National Park

20 July 2020

The North York Moors National Park Authority is excited to announce the launch of an award designed to help families discover and explore wild places.

The National Park’s Family John Muir Award will be kicking off from 21 July and is anticipated to be a great way to spend some time with the kids this summer, whether at home or in the North York Moors.

Children playing at Sutton Bank. Credit North York Moors National Park

The scheme is an offshoot of the internationally recognised John Muir Award, an environmental award scheme that encourages people to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.

Heather McNiff, Head of Education and Youth Engagement at the Authority said: “For many of us the desire to get out and explore nature has gone through the roof, particularly since we have all been stuck at home. So why not get involved with this fun and challenging scheme and help your children learn what it means to enjoy and protect nature.”

To achieve the Family John Muir Award everyone taking part needs to complete four exciting challenges:

  • Discover a wild place
  • Explore its wildness
  • Conserve its wildlife
  • Share experiences

The wild places can be a backyard or garden, local parks, beaches, woods or rivers and doesn't have to be in the National Park. Families will have to commit to a minimum of 30 hours spent in their wild place, perfect for the long summer holiday.

Family exploring at Sutton Bank 2. Credit North York Moors National Park

Heather added: “If you’re planning on staycationing this summer make sure you give this a try. There’s plenty of activities to occupy eager young minds and it will really help you and your family get the most out of our wonderfully wild spaces.”

The award isn't competitive but is still designed to challenge each participant, particularly energetic little ones; each family will receive a certificate at the end. Families of any shape or size can get involved, including extended family, carers, guardians and foster families. It is ideal for families with children aged 4 and upwards.

Families with receive regular updates on ideas to get discovering, exploring and conserving and a dedicated Facebook page has been set up to help them share their experiences and discoveries. Taking part is completely free, including access to lots of fun resources.

To find out more visit or contact the National Park’s education team here:


Media contact

Charlie Fox, Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority

01439 772700

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 8 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.

Further information about the North York Moors National Park and other press releases are available here: