Nominations open for 2017 National Parks UK Volunteer Awards

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Published: 22 August 2017

National Parks UK are now accepting nominations for their annual Volunteer Awards. The Awards are a way of thanking our incredible volunteers for the thousands of hours of service, effort and dedication they contribute every year which helps to make the UK National Parks Britain's most treasured landscapes.

Nominations are being accepted in four categories – Individual, Young Person (25 years and below), Group and Project. The group and project winners will receive a £1,000 bursary towards their future volunteering efforts. The individual and young person winners will receive outdoor kit from UK National Parks Partner Columbia Sportswear. Eoin Treacy, Sales & Marketing Manager Columbia UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to support National Parks UK in celebrating the incredible work volunteers do to maintain and bring to life our shared outdoor space. We hope that together we can raise the profile and celebrate the values of these fantastic people”.

The awards recognise the hard work of volunteers deemed to have gone above and beyond the usual expectations of volunteer service. Last year’s winners were - Jo Minihane, from the Brecon Beacons National Park who won the Individual Award. Jo said: “I enjoy the different experiences and varied projects immensely and always look for a new opportunity. Every day is different and I have learned so much. The people I meet are wonderful and I will continue my life as a volunteer for as long as possible.”

Also from the Brecon Beacons National Park - the Nepalese Community Footpath Group won in the group category for the incredible work they carried out to restore a footpath in their home town of Brecon. Gurung Guptaman, Volunteer Coordinator from the Brecon Nepalese Society said; “We started the project with a simple objective in mind and that was to help us integrate into the local community. We never imagined receiving this kind of recognition.”

The Pondhead Conservation Trust from the New Forest National Park won the 2016 Project Award for successfully creating the New Forest’s first community woodland. The Trust restored the once overgrown hazel woodland to its former glory, enhancing the woodland wildlife habitat and greatly improving its amenity value for the local population.

"The Volunteer Awards are always one of the highlights of our calendar" said National Parks UK Director Kathryn Cook. “They give us an opportunity to showcase our amazing volunteers and the tremendous work they do across the 15 UK National Parks. Help us to find our 2017 National Park heroes and give them the recognition that they deserve”.

Nominations are being accepted until 12 noon on Friday 22nd September 2017. Nominees need not be volunteering for a UK National Park to be eligible. All that is required is that the volunteer service or project take place within the boundaries of one of the UK's 15 National Parks.

To nominate a deserving individual, young person, group, or project and to find out how to volunteer yourself visit:

The 2017 National Parks UK Volunteer Awards are supported by Columbia Sportswear and Natural Resources Wales.

ColumbiaNatural Resources Wales

Team day with Pondhead Conservation Trust

Scout group in the New Forest.

Making charcoal in the New Forest.

Nepalese Community Group, Brecon Beacons National Park.

Volunteers building a bridge, Brecon Beacons National Park.

For more information please contact: 

Kathryn Cook, UK Director, National Parks UK
Tel: 01874 620 474

Clare O’Connor, External Relations Manager, National Parks UK
Tel: 01398 322244

There are 15 members of the UK's National Parks family:
Broads, Brecon Beacons, Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs and Yorkshire Dales.

Quick guide to the UKs National Parks