The UK’s National Parks and Forest Holidays continue to work 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.
We understand the power of nature and know that outside play is fundamental to young people. Since its launch in 2019, National Parks Futures has connected over 8,500 young people with nature through flagship projects with National Parks.
Thanks to Forest Holiday’s ongoing support, activity continues this year with three projects:
The Broads National Park, Broads Youth Ambassadors
The Broads education team are seeking to engage young people from Gt Yarmouth, Norwich and Lowestoft and work with them to discover, explore, appreciate, conserve and enjoy wild places within the Broads National Park such as Barton Turf, How Hill and Horsey.
They will gain practical work experience by carrying out a range of conservation and environmental tasks at Barton Turf Adventure Centre and other sites within the Broads National Park, and participate in activities to discover and explore the specific sites, the surroundings and the wider Broads National Park.
Their aim is to develop awareness of the rich heritage and special qualities of the Broads, knowledge about sustainability, and also to build self-confidence, communication, teamwork and practical skills.
North York Moors National Park, Young Rangers Scheme
The North York Moors National Park will deliver their Young Rangers Scheme for children and young people aged 11-17 from areas of high deprivation. The scheme will provide unique activities where children and young people volunteer, get active, learn skills and undertake practical conservation tasks within the National Park.
Activities will be led by an experienced National Park Young Ranger Leader and volunteers based within the Outdoor Learning and Engagement Team. The project will aim to help them develop the skills and confidence to access the wealth of nature on their doorsteps. Parents sometimes find it challenging to bring children and young people to sessions so free transport will be provided.
In the long term, the project will create lasting impact and change by improving health and wellbeing in younger people by promoting physical activity, reconnection to the natural environment and instilling a willingness to engage in lifelong volunteering. It is these shifts that will help to secure our next generation of environmental stewards.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, The Lost Words
In 2023 the Lost Words exhibition will be visiting the Gallery at the National Park Authority’s Oriel Y Parc, St Davids. The exhibition presents an outstanding opportunity for local schools, and the Pembrokeshire Coast education team have been looking at ways to resource the experience. This would include providing learning materials for schools, and support for schools wishing to visit the exhibition.
The Lost Words exhibition is a celebration and cautionary tale of lost words in nature and linguistic and cultural storytelling. It is a celebration of nature and its wonder through art and word – for the wild child. A retreat for the eyes, mind and soul, this exhibition aims to reconnect adults and children to the natural world using the magic of words and art.
Forest Holidays provide sustainable holidays that help to create a brighter future for people and the planet – one in which they enrich, rather than exploit, the natural world. They want to ensure they provide people with special places to discover, explore and enjoy for many years to come. Guests can choose between twelve inspiring locations, six of which are in National Parks.
It’s a holiday where you can unwind in nature, knowing the forest is properly looked-after too. Forest Holidays offers a unique and special way to enjoy the forest and help people reconnect with nature. Because these connections are good for people and good for nature. You don’t just visit the forest, you really feel it, and the only place you can really find that Forest Feeling is on a Forest Holiday. 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).