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Young people are custodians of countryside

Local people between the ages of 16-25 will be able to play an active role in governing Northumberland National Park and encouraging others to help look after it – today and for the future. Environment Minister Rory Stewart announced the setting up of the country's first National Park Youth Cabinet today during National Parks week.

National Parks are a corner stone of rural economies generating over £4 billion each year.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

“With more than 90 million annual visitors to our National Parks they are an essential and very valuable part of rural life, bringing jobs and investment.

“It’s absolutely right young people – the future custodians of our natural world – have a say in how they are run.

“Important projects like this make that happen, giving teenagers and young adults first hand understanding of their true value – not just in monetary terms – but as part of our precious natural heritage.”

Minister Rory Stewart with representatives from the newly launched Northumberland National Park Youth Cabinet and members of the Youth Mosaic Project Credit: DEFRA
Minister Rory Stewart learns how to make pizza during his visit to Northumberland National Park Credit: DEFRA

Glen Sanderson, Chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “Our Youth Cabinet puts young people at the heart of what we do at the National Park as they are an integral part of the decision making process, and we listen and learn much from their views. National Parks are amongst Britain's most valued treasures, and we are ensuring that we do all we can to encourage young people to learn about, explore, and care for our National Parks so that future generations can continue to enjoy these national assets for years to come.”

Ian Riddle, age 25, from Bellingham, Northumberland, joined the Youth Cabinet to encourage other young people to get involved in the National Park, he said: “I think it’s really important for young people to have their say and have the opportunity to get involved with the Park. The Cabinet offers young people from all backgrounds and walks of life the chance to have our voices heard and influence how the National Park is run.”

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Firefighters issue deliberate blaze warning

2013 wildfire at Siddick Ponds Credit: ITV Border

With the summer holidays well underway Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging parents to teach their children about the dangers of deliberately starting wildfires.

In 2013 the Siddick Ponds nature reserve near Workington was devastated by arson. The reserve has recovered and plant and animal life have returned, but firefighters say deliberate, nuisance fires can have fatal consequences.

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Anti-nuclear campaigner slams firm's celebrations

A campaign group has been handing out leaflets outside the annual Direct Rail Services open day, criticising the company.

Radiation Free Lakeland are concerned tonnes of radioactive materials will be moved along the railway lines if a new power station is built at Moorside in West Cumbria:

They're calling it a 20-year celebration, and we're saying, are you really celebrating 20 years of bringing radioactive waste into Sellafield by train?"

– Marianne Birkby, Radiation Free Lakeland

Direct Rail Services 'central to Cumbria'

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has spoken in support of Direct Rail Services, as the company celebrates its 20th birthday.

Thousands are expected to have attended the firm's open day, but protestors from Radiation Free Lakeland were also there, to criticise its transportation of nuclear waste.

This is the only rail company with its freight services based outside London, so that's something to celebrate.

This is a company that has highly paid jobs, demanding a highly skilled workforce, so it's providing opportunities for the next generation."

– John Stevenson MP
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