New education and volunteering strategy announced for Yorkshire Dales National Park

1. A learning and engagement session at Freeholders’ Wood, Aysgarth. Photo: Paul Harris.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority will hear about ambitious new education, engagement and volunteering plans aimed at young people and under-represented groups when they meet in Leyburn next week.

Through educational and skills-based activities, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority aims to inspire 1,500 young people from in and around the park to explore and enhance their environment each year, provide 6,000 people from under-represented groups with activity days, and provide at least 7,000 volunteer days per year, with 15 per cent coming from under-represented groups.

It is hope the programme will mean at least 4,000 people each year finding out more about the national park’s qualities.

Neil Heseltine, chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “Connecting young people with nature through educational, skills-based or volunteer activity is how we foster a new generation who understand, love, explore, and advocate for the unique environment of the National Park.

“Whether it’s school children spending a night under the stars, young people from Bradford visiting a farm or a young volunteer using their voice and influence on how the Park is managed – all of these experiences can forge a lifetime connection with this special place.

“Recreation and health is a priority work programme for us, and these exciting and ambitious plans will help people manage their health and wellbeing by making a connection to nature or by taking part in recreational activities in the national park.

“Young people should be the inspiration and catalyst for growing our green economy. Our approach will hopefully support their journey through education and volunteering into employment.”