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Campaign for National Park's Park Protector Awards 2021 celebrate the work of staff and volunteers in National Parks

Logo: Campaign for National Parks
The Exmoor Mire Restoration Project (Exmoor NPA)
The Exmoor Mire Restoration Project (Exmoor NPA)

Campaign for National Parks is the only national charity dedicated to campaigning to protect and improve National Parks in England and Wales. As well as influencing government policy and supporting members with planning campaigns, it highlights best practice and engages people with the work being carried out in National Parks through a variety of means - including an annual photography competition and an annual awards scheme.

Campaign for National Parks has this year teamed up with Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust and Countryfile Magazine for the Park Protector Awards 2021.

The awards recognise the efforts of staff and volunteers working in National Parks in England and Wales in what has been a very challenging year. This year’s theme is ‘Innovation and Agility in the face of a Global Pandemic’ with a £1,000 first prize and 2 x runners up prizes of £500 each. The prize money is for supporting and celebrating the work or the person/team/project.

Person mending a bridge (Lake District NPA)
Bridge Restoration (Lake District NPA)

For the first time, there will also be a People's Choice public vote for 'Volunteer of the Year' with a 3-night stay in a holiday cottage in the Lake District up for grabs, courtesy of Ramblers Worldwide Holidays.

"We know what a challenging year it has been for our National Parks," said Anita Konrad, Campaign for National Parks Chief Executive and one of the judges for this year's awards, "National Park Societies and Authorities have not only had to adapt how they work in light of the ever-changing government restrictions and guidance but many have had their busiest years yet when it comes to visitor numbers.

"We know this has not been easy, but we've seen repeated examples of innovation and agility in our National Parks - people working together to protect these vital landscapes. We're also seeing new initiatives as responses to the pandemic and its far-reaching impact - social prescribing, engagement with new audiences, including first-time visitors and impressive mobilisation of volunteers.

Otter (Broads Authority)
Otter (Broads Authority)

"We want to recognise and celebrate this work and are very pleased to be able to, working with Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust and Countryfile Magazine, bring you the Park Protector Awards 2021."

Anyone can nominate a person, team or project for the work they’ve undertaken in a National Park in England or Wales in 2020/21. You can nominate yourself/your team/your project by filling out a simple online form.

Anita continued: "The judging panel, which includes Countryfile Magazine Editor Fergus Collins, is specifically looking for how people and teams have adapted to the challenges of 2020 to deliver work to protect and improve National Parks. It can cover a variety of areas from nature conservation and climate change solutions to engaging with visitors and supporting communities. Or something completely different."

The deadline for nominations is 28 Feb 2021. Shortlisting will take place in early March - when the Volunteer of the Year public vote will also take place online. Winners will be announced soon after and profiled in a future edition of Countryfile Magazine. For more information, or to make a nomination, see: www.cnp.org.uk/park-protector-award

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