At the invitation of Exmoor National Park Authority, Caroline Quentin, president of the charity Campaign for National Parks, recently spent a day in Exmoor learning more about the Authority’s work to get more youngsters visiting.
Caroline and her family live locally and frequently visit the National Park. However, this was a special occasion to visit the Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning and Simonsbath, where a community-led initiative is considering future uses for a group of historic buildings.
Caroline said, “I had a wonderful day in Exmoor National Park, learning more about the ways the Authority are engaging with young people at the Pinkery Centre and the fascinating heritage project taking place in Simonsbath. The day was a fantastic introduction to being president of Campaign for National Parks.”
She joined as president of the Campaign for National Parks because of her admiration of these beautiful landscapes. However, Caroline has also argued that National Parks should not be “pickled in aspic”, with her dearest wish being that “schoolchildren would think of their nearest National Park as their own playground, classroom and garden.”
Exmoor National Park is firm family favourite and surveys have shown that over 80% of visitors return to enjoy its unique blend of large areas of open moorland and woodland, spectacular coastline and pretty towns and villages.
Caroline Quentin was joined by Andrea Davis, chairman of Exmoor National Park Authority, Janette Ward, vice chair of Campaign for National Parks and Rachel Thomas, chairman of the Exmoor Society.
PHOTO: Andrea Davis, chairman of Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA) with Caroline Quentin, President of Campaign for National Parks (CNP). Steve Guscott/ENPA
The Campaign for National Parks is the only national charity dedicated to campaigning to protect and promote all the 13 National Parks of England and Wales.
National Parks are inspiring and breathtaking areas of our country. They are part of our cultural heritage, are important for wildlife, contain beautiful landscapes and benefit the nation. They are living and working landscapes and more than 100 million people visit the Parks in England and Wales each year.
Campaign for National Parks works with a wide variety of people and organisations, representing shared concerns, views and voices. We come together to address issues affecting National Parks and take action to keep these beautiful places safe.
For more information visit www.cnp.org.uk.
The Pinkery Centre is owned and run by Exmoor National Park Authority and provides a unique residential experience right in the heart of the old Royal Hunting Forest of Exmoor. The centre has provided unforgettable experiences for young people since 1969 and continues to work with teachers to ensure that every new generation is inspired by the landscape and atmosphere of Exmoor National Park.
The Pinkery Centre also provides accredited training courses in a number of outdoor activities as well as offering special interest courses throughout the year. For more information visit www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/learning/pinkery-centre.
Help to visit Exmoor National Park
Exmoor National Park Authority is offering small grants to groups that have not been to Exmoor before or have limited opportunities to enjoy what is special about the National Park due to lack of finances.
Grants of up to £1000 per group are available to support a visit. Groups would be expected to raise a minimum of 20% towards the costs of their trip. Applications are particularly encouraged from youth organisations, disabled users, BME (black and minority ethnic) communities and groups based in urban areas.
Tim Braund, Head of Information & Communication at Exmoor National Park says: “Exmoor is an amazing place and we are aware that not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a visit so if you know of a group that would benefit from some help do get in touch with us on 01398 323665 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit: www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/living-and-working/grants-and-funding