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.
The need for young people to spend time in green spaces is greater than ever. Since its launch in 2019, National Parks Futures has connected over 8,500 young people with nature through flagship projects and a UK Travel Fund.
Thanks to Forest Holiday’s ongoing support, activity continues this year with three projects
New Forest National Park – Wild Connections Youth Project
The Wild Connections youth officer will actively seek out youth groups from communities who find the National Park hard to access, meet them in their own setting and provide the support needed for their leaders and for them to visit the New Forest National Park, often for the first time. Activities will vary between groups, but all sessions will include elements which help awareness of the benefits of nature for health and wellbeing, and activities that can be continued independently following the visit with the New Forest team.
Northumberland National Park – Little Larks/Holiday Club and Outreach Forest Schools
Little Larks Forest School supports children to connect with nature, manage their own risks, lead their own adventures and exploration of the outdoors and build relationships with a small community of friends and experienced practitioners. The Holiday Club and Outreach programmes will provide a sustained programme of nature connectedness for children in and around the National Park.
Peak District National Park – Family Nature Connect Volunteering
The pilot will deliver a family volunteering programme linking with the John Muir Award. Families from cities and towns around the Peak District will be invited to visit to learn new skills, connect with nature, have fun and create lasting memories.
Forest Holidays are nestled in beautiful corners of the UK’s forests. Guests can choose between eleven inspiring locations, five of which are in National Parks. Two are located on the shores of Lochs in Scotland, one is tucked away in Snowdonia and the remaining eight are dotted around the English countryside. Forest Holidays cabins are a unique and a pioneering design which works in harmony with the forest around them.
It’s a holiday where you can unwind in nature, knowing the forest is properly looked-after too. Adventures can be enjoyed in the hidden gems of the British countryside, and there’s a cosy cabin ready and waiting for your return. 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).
The National Parks currently participating in this programme are; Brecon Beacons, Broads, Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, New Forest, North York Moors, Northumberland, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, South Downs and the Yorkshire Dales.