[ ] had such a wonderful time, home tired, muddy, bag of wet clothes but has not stopped talking about his adventure. He loved it all, the place, the quiet, the food, the bed, the films, the staff, the sea, the minibus, the activities but most of all the sunrise over the hill out of his window. Thank you for giving him this opportunity. Reaching Out participant, 2019
The UK’s National Parks and Forest Holidays are working together on ‘National Park Futures’, a 5-year programme that will connect over 20,000 young people with nature. The aim is to inspire the next generation to care for and protect our precious National Parks, as well as improving their well-being through time spent in nature.
A successful pilot year in 2018 funded the involvement of 5,000 young people in activities run by their local National Park and included many from disadvantaged backgrounds. One pilot year location was the Brecon Beacons National Park. Simon Hosking, a teacher at Ysgol Y Cribarth Primary School says “By receiving the travel grant our pupils have been able to access a learning opportunity in the great outdoors. We have loved learning more about the Brecon Beacons National Park and what makes our local area so special.”
Over the next 5 years, thanks to the partnership with Forest Holidays, ‘National Parks Futures’ will deliver at least 15 flagship education projects reaching 5,000 young people as well as covering the travel costs of an estimated 15,000 National Park visits for young people.
In 2019, ‘National Parks Futures’ will support three projects that will see young people exploring and learning about the outdoors:
Cairngorms National Park
‘Rural Skills Day’ – a hands-on Rural Skills Day offering school children a unique opportunity to learn more about what a career in woodlands or forestry entails.
Exmoor National Park
The ‘Reaching Out’ initiative supporting two residential trips from urban schools. Experience has shown that for many young people a residential experience in a special place can be a transformative experience but for many schools the cost of a residential visit can be prohibitive.
South Downs National Park
Support towards the ‘John Muir Families Outreach Programme’ – funding will be used to expand the range of activities available to families. For young people and families who have had little access to wild places, the Programme offers ways to share new and positive experiences. In addition, by experiencing the outdoors together, families are more likely to use them in the future.
About Forest Holidays
Forest Holidays are privileged to be situated in beautiful corners of the UK’s forests. Offering guests a choice of 10 locations, five of which are in National Parks. Two are in Scotland, another is in Snowdonia and the remaining seven are dotted around the English countryside. Forest Holidays cabins are unique and a pioneering design which works in harmony with the forest around them. They are the perfect base to explore the UK’s forests and National Parks.
Forest Holidays offer is based around connecting people with nature and the areas they are visiting. Over 97%* of guests feel that a Forest Holidays break has a positive impact on their well-being and connected them with nature and 85.4%* of guests spend time exploring the local area (*CSN scores, June 2019). Find out more about Forest Holidays here https://www.forestholidays.co.uk/about/
The National Parks currently participating in this programme are; Brecon Beacons, Broads, Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, North York Moors, Northumberland, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, South Downs and the Yorkshire Dales.