The Park Protector 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. 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.
Previous winners of Campaign for National Parks’ annual Park Protector Awards include SWEPT Project at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which trained volunteers to collect environmental data around water pollution; Arun and Rother Connections in South Downs National Park, which restored swathes of wildlife habitat; and Fell Futures in the Lake District National Park, which passed on traditional skills.
This year, the judging panel 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. 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.
“So many of us turned to National Parks to help us through 2020 – giving us the space and means to connect with nature and improve our health and wellbeing,” said Anita Konrad, Chief Executive of Campaign for National Parks – the only national charity dedicated to campaigning to protect and improve National Parks in England and Wales, “This has resulted in huge efforts from those on the ground to, not only protect and improve National Parks, but engage with first-time visitors. We know that it’s been an extremely difficult year for everyone, but our National Parks staff and volunteers have risen to the challenges and have done some incredible work and we – along with Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust and BBC Countryfile Magazine – felt it was really important to recognise and celebrate this.”
The deadline for nominations is 28 February 2021, shortlisting and voting will take place in early March with winners to be selected and announced soon after. For more information or to make a nomination, please visit www.cnp.org.uk/park-protector-award