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Young volunteers celebrate award success

Explorer Club volunteer. Photo: North Yorks Moors Nation Park
Young volunteers working on the National Trail. Credit: North Yorks Moors National Parks

A project in the North York Moors that aims to inspire families to love the great outdoors and protect special habitats has received a special award from the Campaign for National Parks.

The Explorer Club, which works with families with children aged 4-14 was highly commended and received a £500 grant as part of the prestigious Park Protector Award. The award was presented at a reception in parliament on 11 October.

It is a privilege working alongside such enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers.

Being shortlisted for the award was fantastic but to be presented with this special honour is the icing on the cake.

The grant will enable us to purchase some more child-sized tools in order to increase the number of practical conservation tasks the families can get involved with.

– Tammy Andrews, Family and Youth Volunteers Co-ordinator

Explorer Club families meet once-a-month for six months to undertake tasks to help look after the National Park and do fun activities to understand more about the special habitats and wildlife that are found there.

Examples of activities include stream-dipping and species identification, along with litter-picking, drain-clearage and path-clearing.

The hope is that this early connection with the North York Moors will lead to a life-long passion for exploration and the natural world.

Once families have completed Explorer Club, there are lots of other ways they can continue their involvement with the National Park; including ‘adopting’ a section of the Cleveland Way, or for older children, volunteering as ‘Young Rangers’.

National Parks are important, inspirational national assets that require dedication and support at this time of great national uncertainty to make sure they flourish in the future.

The Park Protector Award celebrates those projects that are committed to securing a bright future for their National Parks.

– Caroline Quentin, president of Campaign for National Parks

The top prize was taken by the Community Science project in the Peak District, which trains volunteers to monitor environmental changes and record the effects of climate change.

The North York Moors National Park Authority offers a wide range of opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved in looking after this special place. More information can be found here.