National Parks Protectors Fund Launch

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Published: 17 June 2019

A new partnership between Clif Bar and the UK National Parks will fund a series of major conservation projects taking place across five of the National Parks in 2019, as well as supporting the environmental protection of the remaining ten parks.

The projects, funded by Clif Bar, range from the installation of a bug hotel bike rack in the Broads National Park, to woodland protection in the New Forest and an anti-light pollution programme in Northumberland National Park.

Clif Bar has a long history of supporting environmental projects in the USA and Canada, but this is the first time the company has lent its support in the UK.

The brand, which sells a range of energy bars to support active lifestyles, is committed to running a different kind of food company and is passionate about protecting the places in which it plays and to the communities in which it lives.

Operation Wildfire Peak, District National Park, Tameside Fire (c) Tom Marshall

Clif Bar’s support will play a lead role in bolstering the environmental protection programmes of the UK National Parks, which cover 9% of the land area of Great Britain and sustain a huge level of vital habitats and wildlife. The funding will enable the establishment of the ‘National Parks Protectors Fund’ to support important conservation and environmental projects across UK National Parks. Clif Bar will also be donating a range of their energy bars to each National Park.

All 15 of the UK’s National Parks will benefit in 2019, with those not running a special project still receiving a smaller grant to support their choice of conservation work during the year.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, Barrowburn Cheviots at Sunset (c) Ian Glendinning

Catherine Hawkins, Chair of National Parks Partnerships said:

“Clif Bar is really stepping up to help the UK National Parks to protect and conserve their precious landscapes. The National Parks work year-round on projects that protect and conserve important habitats and wildlife. But with so much work to do, we need the support of partners like Clif Bar to help protect these landscapes for now and the future.”

David Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at Clif Bar Europe, said:

“Clif Bar is a purpose-led company committed to sustaining five bottom lines.  These are our Five Aspirations – sustaining our business, brands, people, community and planet.”

“Our partnership with the UK National Parks truly embodies these aspirations by supporting the communities we live in and the planet we share. We are confident that the projects supported through the UK National Parks Protectors Fund will help ensure that these outstanding landscapes we are so lucky to share with nature are available for generations to visit and enjoy.”

Paths, Pollinators and People project includes Penberry, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Starting in Spring 2019, the five supported projects are:

Peak District

Operation Wildfire

The long hot summer of 2018 brought challenges for the Peak District National Park in the form of huge, destructive wildfires. Swathes of its internationally important landscapes were affected, with devastating consequences.

This programme will train volunteers to keep a close eye on conditions on the moorlands to support fire prevention and early detection, reduce the scale and impact of Wildfires when they do occur, educate and provide advice and support on wildfire issues, and support Moorland restoration where fires have occurred.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park said

“As a global family of National Parks, it is fitting that support from Clif Bar will enable us to look after our internationally-important landscapes here in the Peak District. By contributing to our wildfire protection programme and supporting research looking into the carbon benefits of our vital upland peat bogs, we’re able to work together to care for and protect these critical habitats that can benefit our lives both locally and beyond, as we face up to the challenge of climate change.”

Northumberland

Dark Sky Friendly Lighting Scheme in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

This project will ensure that the pristine dark skies of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park are conserved for the wonder of this generation and the next. Raising public awareness of the issues around bad outdoor lighting on wildlife and our health, together with a focus on replacing or retro-fitting bad lighting with good.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park said:

“National Parks are engaged with wide-variety of special projects aimed at enhancing and protecting the unique landscapes and habitats of our most precious landscapes. We are keen to work in partnership with business to help us sustain and expand this important work.

We are delighted National Parks have become the driving force behind Clif Bar’s corporate social responsibility here in the UK. Relationships such as this, with organisations who share our values, are incredibly important to ensure National Parks are conserved and enhanced for future generations to experience and enjoy.”

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Paths, Pollinators and People

Paths, Pollinators and People is a pilot project that aims to enhance the biodiversity alongside the Newgale to Abereiddi section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

This project is the first step towards a longer-term aim of maintaining the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in a way that improves biodiversity and wildlife interest for visitors, whilst at the same time ensuring its quality as a National Trail.

Tegryn Jones, Chief Executive of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park said:

“The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of the world’s finest long-distance walking routes attracting one million visitors every year. The support of Clif Bar will make a vital contribution to improving the biodiversity of such an iconic stretch of the Coast Path.”

Broads National Park 

Bike Bug Hotel

Supporting the creation of two bike racks at Whitlingham Country Park that has a whole series of features built into it to provide space for invertebrates/mini-beasts; attracting beetles, spiders, butterflies and moths.

In addition, it is hoped that the bike racks will help to attract more visitors to Whitlingham Country Park via bicycle, especially families, where the quieter country roads are more suitable for parents and children to cycle together. National Cycle Route No1 runs through the park and the shelters will be a good spot for visitors to stop, park up their bike and enjoy the country park for a while.

John Packman, Chief Executive of the Broads National Park said

“I am delighted with the early benefits of the new partnership between National Parks and Clif Bar. Not only have we seen the delivery of the bug hotel/cycle shelter at Whitlingham we will be welcoming Clif Bar to the Broads Village at the Royal Norfolk show next week where visitors will be able to enjoy free samples of their products, take part in some fun activities and chat to their staff.”

New Forest National Park

Working Woodlands Project

Enabling vital restoration and enhancement of three woodlands to increase the diversity of wildlife. The Working Woodlands project aims to bring around 120 hectares of woodlands back into active management to improve biodiversity; make woodlands more resilient to unfavourable conditions such as disease; increase the amount of habitat available for many threatened and declining species; and train 150 people in woodland management skills. The project will also increase public access to woodland, create a detailed record of the current state of unmanaged woodlands, and give advice, support and training to woodland owners.

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said:

‘The New Forest National Park is a world capital for wildlife with many rare species. Over 40% of private woodlands in the New Forest are unmanaged, meaning the sites aren’t generally as good for nature, people or the economy as they might be. With the help of volunteers and contractors, we’ve restored and enhanced over 130 hectares (195 football pitches) of woodland at 22 sites since 2016 and we’re already seeing wildlife thriving there. Thanks to Clif Bar’s support, we’ll be able to continue this vital work for our woodlands.’

For further information please contact Naomi Conway, National Parks Partnerships, naomi.conway@nationalparks.co.uk,  07950 392979 or Amelia Greenwood, CLIF Bar Press Office, CLIFBar@hopeandglorypr.com 020 3588 9769.