UK National Parks Volunteer Awards 2019

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Published: 16 November 2019

Paul Rose presents winners with their UK National Parks Volunteer Awards
TV presenter and explorer Paul Rose today presented winners with their UK National Parks Volunteer Awards, at a ceremony sponsored by Columbia Sportswear. The Awards recognise the outstanding contribution that volunteers make in helping to care for National Park landscapes and inspiring others to care for them.

The winners are:

Individual Award - David Bream (North York Moors National Park)

Young Person Award (25 and under) - Katie Armstrong (Northumberland National Park)

Group Award - South Tyne Sustainability (Northumberland National Park)

Project Award - Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (Cairngorms National Park)

The four awards, including group and project bursaries supported by CLIF, were presented by Paul Rose at the Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday 16th November. Winners were presented with their award on stage in the lively ‘basecamp’ area of the Kendal Mountain Festival, and had a chance to talk to the audience about what volunteering means to them.

There were four categories of award: individuals, young people, groups and projects. The judging panel this year was made up of the volunteer coordinators from all of the National Parks and they made the following statement:

“Judging these awards is a humbling experience as it gives us the opportunity to learn about so many people and projects that are making an immense contribution to the 15 National Parks across the UK. It was a difficult choice this year as there were so many inspiring entries.”

The awards are sponsored by Columbia Sportswear who provide clothing for staff and Rangers in all of the 15 UK National Parks. Eoin Treacy, Regional Marketing Manager at Columbia Sportswear said:

"Huge congratulations to this year’s amazing winning volunteers. Volunteers give their time, energy, skills and enthusiasm to help care for the UK's 15 incredible National Parks. It's this inspiring contribution that Columbia Sportswear is proud to celebrate through sponsorship of these Awards.”

Tony Gates, CEO of Northumberland National Park Authority said:

“The National Parks UK Volunteer Awards are an incredible opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution that our volunteers make every day in helping to care for National Parks and inspire our visitors. Without our volunteers, the National Parks would be unable to deliver the vital work they undertake to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of our landscapes or promote opportunities for the public to understand and enjoy the special qualities our countryside has to offer. The dedication, energy and enthusiasm of our volunteers epitomises the very best of the National Parks values and ethos and they should be exceptionally proud of their achievements. Congratulations to all those recognised in this year’s Volunteer Awards and a big thank you to every single National Parks volunteer.”

Individual winners will receive prizes including clothing provided by Columbia Sportswear and products from CLIF. In addition, a £500 CLIF Bursary is given to each of the Group and Project winners together with a selection of Clif Bars to help their volunteer work.

More details on the UK National Parks Volunteer Awards 2019 winners:
Individual Award:
David Bream (North York Moors National Park)David has completed over 3,000 hours of volunteering since 2013. He is a Voluntary Ranger, carrying out weekend patrols, checking public rights of way, repairing minor problems and helping the public to enjoy their visit to the National Park. He also leads groups of volunteers on practical tasks all over the North York Moors.

His nomination states “David’s volunteering is notable because he is willing to take on the less glamorous tasks day after day. David has been a positive ambassador for volunteering and changes in the approach to volunteering. He is always willing to try something new, to trial a new approach and give really constructive feedback. He seems tireless in his commitment and is enormously passionate about the National Park, the landscape and wildlife, and the work of the Authority. David volunteers because he genuinely wants to care for the National Park, and this makes him one of our most effective and valuable volunteers.”

Young Person Award: (25 years or younger)

Katie Armstrong (Northumberland National Park)


Katie is a much-valued volunteer at The Sill visitor centre at Northumberland National Park. She
joined the volunteer team at The Sill in July 2018, after they were approached by her personal tutor at Newcastle College. Katie had been studying on a ‘Learning for Life’ course, which is designed to equip young people living with a disability and/or a learning difficulty with the skills needed to enter into employment; develop vocationally; and prepare for independent living.

Katie’s tasks are greeting visitors on arrival, actively selling local produce and crafts in our shop, and assisting with the day to day running of the centre.

Her nomination says: “Her presence within our visitor centre greatly contributes to visitor experience and her personality and enthusiasm means she is a firm favourite with visitors. When we first met Katie we saw a shy and quiet individual who struggled with meeting new people but within no time at all, Katie’s confidence has grown in abundance. She approaches members of staff she has not yet met in order to introduce herself, is incredibly chatty, has no problem talking to customers and isn’t afraid to seek extra help when needed. Katie makes me proud every shift with the work she completes and the incredible way she has made massive improvements during her time volunteering with us.”

Group Award:  For a group or organisation, large or small

South Tyne Sustainability (Northumberland National Park)
South Tyne Sustainability is a volunteer run group which, over the first decade of its existence, has done a huge amount to raise awareness of environmental issues and to promote conservation and sustainable lifestyle choices.

For the last six years two volunteers have led a series of walks on the verges of minor roads which has fostered an interest in and enjoyment of the biodiversity of the Park; forged new connections and helped to share knowledge between the group and the Park. The group is entirely volunteer led and run and has done much to raise the profile of sustainable living by Acting Local and Thinking Global not least through the verges project and the new refill project they have embarked on.

Their nomination says “All who are involved in STS in whatever capacity are made to feel welcome and valued and their enthusiasm in wishing to make their community and the communities around them more sustainable is infectious. Although they are working for their community they see the need to forge links with other communities around them and this network adds strength, depth and longevity to the projects that they undertake.”

Project Award:

Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (Cairngorms National Park)
This entirely volunteer led project aims to increase the understanding of the distribution and habitat needs of six rare invertebrate species in the Cairngorms through surveys and observations. The six species are: Kentish glory (Endromis versicolor), Dark-bordered beauty (Epione vespertaria), Northern silver-stiletto fly (Spiriverpa lunulata), Pine hoverfly (Blera fallax), Small scabious mining bee (Andrenamarginata) and Shining guest ant (Formicoxenus nitidulus). The project is working with landowners to promote the management of land that enables these species to thrive and spread.

Their nomination says: “The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) has brought people together for the greater cause of protecting nature and has displayed excellent partnership working and inter-industry collaboration. One of the most incredible things about the project is its ability to reach and bring together such a wide variety of industries and individuals – conservationists, scientists, farmers, foresters, local authorities, businesses, NGO’s communities and families – in order be stirred into conserving essential habitats for these threatened species and thousands of others”.

Contact: 

Naomi Conway, 

naomi.conway@nationalparks.co.uk

07950 392979