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Search is on for National Park heroes

Grassington, 19 June, 2012.

Volunteer heroes who work tirelessly to help keep the Yorkshire Dales National Park looking fantastic are being sought for a national award.

And the public is being asked to help in the search by nominating the individuals, groups or projects they think are worthy.

The UK Association of National Parks (UK ANPA) has launched an award scheme to honour the volunteers who bring their skills and enthusiasm to work in the National Parks to help others enjoy Britain’s beautiful breathing spaces.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) Area Ranger Iain (correct) Mann, who is the Authority’s lead officer for volunteering, said: ”I know there are lots of people – including our  own Dales Volunteers – who give their time freely and willingly to ensure that the National Park’s fragile landscape is conserved and enhanced for future generations.

“Their contribution is hugely valued, so we would encourage everyone to submit nominations for the award to recognise this tremendous effort.”

Carl Lis, Chairman of UKANPA and of the YDNPA, said: “Whether they’re mending footpaths or helping out surveying historic features, our volunteers love our National Parks and that enthusiasm is infectious.

“They help us with some of our most vital conservation work – they’re a formidable force for good!”

The awards will see the best individual, best group and best project lauded – with the best individual winning outdoor gear from UK ANPA’s brand partner Merrell. Winners of the group and project categories will win a £1,000 bursary to help facilitate future volunteering activity

The awards will be judged at the end of October by TV presenters Julia Bradbury and Helen Skelton.

Volunteers can range from school children to those with more than 50 years’ service, all of whom give their time and energy to many aspects of work in the UK’s 15 National Parks.

Nominations are invited from individuals or groups working on joint projects within the boundaries of a UK National Park.

Nominees can be working for an outside organisation within a National Park – the important thing is that they’re contributing in whatever way they can to helping maintain the beauty of our landscapes for everyone to enjoy.

The deadline to submission of nominations is midnight on September 7. Up to five nominees will be shortlisted in each of the three categories and the winners will be announced in early November.

More information and a downloadable nominations form are available on the UK ANPA website at www.nationalparks.gov.uk/volunteer-awards.

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