Discover National Parks Fortnight, 2-18 April
Discover National Parks Fortnight returns between 2-18 April, after a two-year COVID enforced hiatus. During that time the value of visiting green and blue spaces has been highlighted by unprecedented numbers of people heading into the UK wilderness for the first time. This year, National Parks across the UK are encouraging people to embrace and expand that spirit, to ‘Do something new and share your story’. Over the course of the two weeks National Parks will make suggestions for five ways to do something new and, in the final Easter weekend of the fortnight, will launch a brand-new way to share your story.
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Chief Executive of the Brecon said, “Connection with nature forms a vital part of wellbeing. This year we are inviting people to give some extra thought to how they visit and perhaps try something new. We would love to see people sharing positive experiences in the Brecon Beacons, so we’re also asking people to use #DiscoverNew and #GreenSpaceStories so we all champion the best, most enjoyable, most sustainable ways to enjoy our National Parks and care for them at the same time.”
The five ways to do something new:
- Discover together: #JoinInJoinUp
If you are inexperienced or new to exploring the countryside, it can seem a little daunting. National Parks are some of the best places to make that first step. Through National Parks people can Join in or Join up with one of the many activities and local groups designed to introduce you to these special places – during the fortnight or throughout the year. There is something for everyone, whether visiting alone or with friends or family, and they are free to visit.
- Discover volunteering
For many people who visit National Parks, that experience will have been made better or easier through the efforts of our volunteers. It’s one vital way that you can give something back and there are lots of different ways to volunteer, no matter what your age, experience or how much time you have. Find out more here: https://www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/the-authority/volunteering/
- Discover a new future
The middle weekend of Discover National Parks Fortnight (9-10 April) is dedicated to the Young Leaders in National Parks. Through various programmes, young people passionate about our landscapes and the environment are experiencing what it’s like to take the initiative and become actively involved. This can lead to careers in the green economy, but also gives them a real leadership voice in the National Parks movement today. New opportunities for young people will be highlighted and National Parks’ social media channels will be sharing messages from participants at the recent Youth Voice event in the Peak District about their hopes for the future and how they are beginning to realise them today through their work in National Parks.
- Discover new places
To help visitors avoid hitting overcrowded roads, car parks and attractions, each of the National Parks wants to make it easier for visitors to discover the less well-known – but equally amazing – places within the Parks.
Catherine added, “Locations like Waterfall Country and Pen y Fan are host to millions of visitors every year. This can place strains on wildlife and local communities; we would love to encourage visitors to consider somewhere quieter and reap the benefits of exploring more tranquil areas. The Brecon Beacons is host to a UNESCO Global Geopark, which covers the west of the National Park. A great way to start exploring some of our lesser-known gems is by downloading our new geotours app, which gives information about four walking routes through the Geopark.” Find out more about the app here: https://www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/the-authority/press-and-news/press-releases/september-2021/new-geotours-app-for-fforest-fawr-geopark/
- Discover new ways
A simple way to avoid the stress of driving on crowded lanes and finding a parking spot is to use more sustainable travel options, including trains, buses and bicycles. The journey becomes part of the experience and it can often be more sustainable option. Traveline Cymru provide a great journey-mapping tool for working out public transport routes: https://www.traveline.cymru/
Share Your Story
Over the course of the fortnight, National Parks will be using social media to encourage people to use #DiscoverNew and #GreenSpaceStories to share where they have visited and new things they have done. At the end of Discover National Parks Fortnight a unique new platform will be launched that is designed specifically to share stories about visiting green and blue spaces in a way that can influence how people explore and access the UK countryside for generations to come.
Catherine said, “By sharing stories of something new, our visitors can influence their friends, families and followers to discover all that’s great about National Parks in a way that suits them and helps us to look after them forever.”
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