Friday, 24 July 2009

Hilary Benn Joins National Park Birthday Celebrations

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of National Parks, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today visited the Peak District National Park, one of the four original National Parks established in 1951.

During his visit Mr Benn saw firsthand the benefits that National Parks bring to all who live in, work in and visit them. Mr Benn met volunteers from a range of projects, scientists and conservationists who preserve the natural environment and representatives from local businesses.

Mr Benn said:

“The Peaks – the first National Park to be designated – were chosen for its unique and outstanding natural beauty. Sixty years on from the Act the Parks are places where people still live, work and relax – from recreation and tourism to conservation and farming.

“More than ever before, we are aware of the environment around us and our responsibility for it. This is a huge opportunity for our National Parks to be a beacon – they should be leading the way to a prosperous and sustainable future.”

The Peak District covers 1438 square hectares and contains a mixture of moorland, farmland and woodland. Mr Benn visited Dovedale , Ilam Hall Youth Hostel – where he met volunteers working on projects such as habitat improvements and drystone walling - and the Moorland Discovery Centre, which provides education for people visiting the park.

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