It’s time for BME people to get Peak Wise

24 May 2018

Carol Whiteley, a Mosaic champion and participant in the Peak Wise People Programme shares with us her experience of connecting with Nature in the Peak District.

Breathtaking scenery, fresh air, wildlife, important ecosystem - and the list could go on. My reference is to the Peak District.  I joined the Peak Wise People programme because I was interested in navigating the countryside and knew this would be a great opportunity.

Being from an ethnic minority background, this course was right for me. I knew so little about the Peak District, despite being born in Sheffield. I hardly ventured into the countryside and had been to Chatsworth House once, as a young teenager. I felt this training was a great chance for me to learn more and learn how to inspire others to get out and enjoy the countryside.

The Peak District Mosaic group taking navigation training on Houndkirk Moor

The Peak District Mosaic Group undertaking navigation training on Houndkirk Moor. Photo credit: Peak District Mosaic.

There are numerous benefits of being a Mosaic Champion following Peak Wise. Not only did I meet some fantastic people who I am still in contact with today, I also learned about the history of the White and Dark Peak alongside issues of conservation.

I had many great experiences, however, two things really stuck in my mind. One was being introduced to sphagnum moss and the importance of its existence. I had never heard about it before and I was fascinated and started reading more about it to deepen my knowledge and understanding of this moss. The other was during our navigation training, we navigated to an area called God’s Spring and seeing the fresh drinkable water springing up from the ground was wonderful.

The Peak Wise People programme was interactive and there was no time to be bored. Collecting leaves, writing poetry, drawing and hands on experience of activities that could be shared with others was extremely valuable and inspiring. Walking in the countryside and feeling at one with nature, the quietness and feeling of serenity was a great stress reliever as it took me away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, albeit it for a short while.

Peak District Mosaic Group

Photo credit: Peak District Mosaic Group.

The programme is great because there’s so much to do. It’s not just about walking through the scenic routes but developing a better understanding about the ecology and wildlife that’s very refreshing. Amongst so many other benefits, there are great opportunities for taking photographs in all types of weather to capture the landscape and features of the countryside in different moods (even from a novice photographer such as myself). Peak Wise is accessible and the rangers who helped to organise and support the programme were really inspirational and demonstrated their love for the job they do.

The Peak Wise People programme is ideal for anyone who wants to embrace and interact more with the countryside, encourage others to visit the Peak District National Park and meet like-minded people

By Carol Whiteley

The Peak District Mosaic group is made up of BME individuals dedicated to exploring the Peak District National Park. Find out more from the groups Twitter or email  peakdistrictmosaic@gmail.com

Click here to find out more about volunteering in the Peak District.