From Campaign for National Parks <[email protected]>
Subject Park Protector Awards 2021 - winners revealed!
Date March 18, 2021 4:32 PM
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Awards recognise and reward innovation and agility in the face of a global pandemic: find out who won...

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** Park Protector Awards: Winners revealed!

A big thank you to everyone who made a nomination to our Park Protector Awards 2021, who voted in our Volunteer of the Year vote and to everyone who continues to play a role in protecting and improving National Parks.

This year’s awards attracted nominations from 12 out of 13 National Parks in England and Wales with a range of work represented – from ensuring local people had access to food and medicine, to health and wellbeing initiatives, nature conservation and visitor engagement, much of which moved online.

Our judging panel made up of Campaign for National Parks Chief Executive Anita Konrad, BBC Countryfile Magazine Editor Fergus Collins, RSPB Cymru Director Katie-Jo Luxton and Stephen Ross from Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, which sponsored the awards, has selected the winners - with you choosing the Volunteer of the Year winner via public vote.

** Overall winner: Safer Lakes, Lake District National Park
Safer Lakes was Lake District National Park's response to keeping the protected landscape safe in a global pandemic - it's an approach which proved very successful and its legacy will continue way beyond this current crisis.

Through a huge partnership working effort with local emergency services, landowners, conservation charities and a growing army of volunteers, the new Safer Lakes approach meant that Lake District National Park was better able to deal with issues which overwhelmed other beauty spots – from littering and wild camping to irresponsible car parking and fires.

“Far from being a standard crisis management response, Safer Lakes is a transformational way of working, which puts the National Park in a much stronger position for the future,” said Campaign for National Parks Chief Executive Anita Konrad.

** Runner-up: Moors for the Future Partnership, Peak District National Park
2020 was also a year that threatened to disrupt important conservation work, but runner-up Moors for the Future Partnership in Peak District National Park managed to adapt and innovate in order to continue with its important peatland restoration work.

** Runne r-up: Be Wild Buckfastleigh, Dartmoor National Park

Be Wild Buckfastleigh – a grass-roots project which connects families and older people to nature and wildlife in Dartmoor National Park through activity packs, bird-box making workshops, free socially distanced walks, online videos and DVDs for families not online.

** Volunteer of the Year: Rod Gentry, South Downs National Park
For the first time, the Park Protector Awards included a Volunteer of the Year public vote – which returned Rod Gentry as the overall winner.

Rod is a voluntary warden for Forestry England in South Downs National Park and runs the Friends of Friston Forest Facebook page - connecting people, running campaigns, sharing the beauty of the forest with those shielding and responding to incidents to help make the forest a safer and cleaner place.
Rod was chosen by the public from a shortlist of five volunteers, which included David Bird from Snowdonia National Park, Jess Davison from Northumberland National Park, Vicky Pearson from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and David Bream from North York Moors National Park. You can read their stories here ([link removed]) .
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