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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Let's recognise the national parks' landscape stars

Volunteers installing a boardwalk
The UK's 15 national parks  – and, of course, we're blessed with two of them in our county – are looking for nominees for the second annual volunteer awards.

The parks are keen to honour individuals and groups who are helping to make Britain's breathing spaces some of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the country.

The scheme recognises people who have gone above and beyond the expectations of volunteers in helping to protect, maintain and enhance the environment and heritage of their area.

The North York Moors National Park Authority has the biggest volunteer service of all the national parks.

OUTNUMBER
It works with about 1,000 volunteers a year which means volunteers outnumber staff by about eight to one In a good year, volunteers will work about 11,000 days and this year the service achieved the landmark of 100,000 days worked by volunteers for the National Park.

Graham Stubbs, the authority’s head of volunteer service, said he knows there are many volunteers in the North York Moors who are worthy of the award.

He said: “Volunteers play a part in almost everything that we do and we wouldn’t be able to do half as much without them.

"We would like to hear from unsung heroes. Tweet us if you are volunteering. It’s not about blowing your trumpet. It’s about publicising our important volunteer work and encouraging others to take part. And it’s another way for us to say thank you and well done.”

GREAT PRIDE
Kathryn Cook, UK Director of UK National Parks, said: "Volunteers are a source of great pride across the national parks. The breadth of dedication and altruism they offer is inspirational."

The awards will be broken into four categories: individual (over 25); young person (25 years and under); group and project

Winners of the group and project categories will receive a £1,000 bursary to help future volunteering. The winning individual and young person will each receive his or her choice of footwear from outdoor specialist and UK National Parks brand partner Merrell.

Nominations will be accepted until midnight 7 September. They are encouraged from any active volunteers working within the boundaries of one of the 15 members of the National Parks family.

To nominate a deserving individual, young person, group or project visit www.nationalparks.gov.uk/aboutus/jobs/volunteerawards-2013 or contact Graham Stubbs on 01439 772700, email g.stubbs@northyorkmoors.org.uk.

Up to five nominees will be shortlisted in each of the four award categories. Final winners will be announced in November. Further information about volunteering is available at: www.nationalparks.gov.uk/aboutus/jobs/volunteering

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