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Protect Our National Parks

With Campaign for National Parks, our charity partner

For many of us, it was in one of the UK’s national parks that the love of nature took root. We looked down from mountain peaks, felt clear air on our faces and water on our skin. It was where we learnt tree names, spotted birds and took our first muddy steps into a life outdoors. Those precious green spaces are an essential part of our heritage and environment, which is why we’re excited to announce Campaign for National Parks as our new, long-term charity partner. They work tirelessly to preserve national parks and enhance access to them, so that the whole of a new generation can grow up loving them and willing to fight for them.

With your help, we’re aiming to raise £50,000 to protect our national parks and improve access to them for everyone. Alongside our donations, we invite you to give £2 when making a booking, which will go directly to Campaign for National Parks and their important work. If you’d like to donate without booking, you can do that right now:

Why national parks?

Our national parks are an in incredibly important part of our environment and our heritage. We want to make sure that future generations can be dragged up hills by their parents, only to grudgingly admit later on that it was fun. Protections put in place over the last century have not halted biodiversity loss and species extinctions caused by land use change and pollution. According to a recent British Ecological Society report, only 5% of national park land is effectively protected and 75% of the SSSIs in English national parks are in an “unfavourable condition”. We want a future where nature is the priority in national parks. To do that, we need people to love and value their national parks, which means more people, from broader backgrounds need to visit.

How do you balance protection and access?

If people know and love something, they will fight to protect it. Only 6% of visitors to national parks are aged 16-24 and a shockingly small percentage are from non-white backgrounds. Allowing everyone to access national parks and ensuring that they can and will do so responsibly is key to gaining the popular support that can create pressure and pass laws. This is a key part of the work that Campaign for National Parks are engaged in.

There are 15 national parks in the UK – how many have you visited?

Who are Campaign for National Parks?

Campaign for National Parks is a charity that works to protect England & Wales’s wild spaces and demand better policy and infrastructure from authorities. Their efforts ensure that the parks will be preserved, but also that they can be accessed, responsibly, by as many people as possible, especially those who typically have barriers to getting into nature. The organisation, founded in 1936, is as old as the parks themselves. Their first campaign enabled the designation of the first national park in the UK, the Lake District. Ever since, they’ve been fighting for the preservation of existing parks and the establishment of new ones, such as the South Downs, created in 2010. They want a world where nature and people are thriving in our national parks, where wildlife is wild and natural beauty is protected for generations to come.

“We want a world where nature and people are thriving in our national parks, where wildlife is wild and natural beauty is protected for generations to come”

– Dr Rose O’Neill CEO of Campaign for National Parks

How will we work with them?

Over the next three years, as well as helping with funding, we’ll be getting involved in volunteering projects, providing summit venues and funding bursaries for young people to share their stories, so that they can have a say in the future of our landscapes. We’re also going to continue to lead the way in sustainable tourism, from creating responsible travel guides to helping research and pilot schemes.

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