Champion volunteers!

Mosaic Champions build peat dams in ExmoorThis autumn saw two Mosaic Champions nominated for the prestigious National Parks Young Volunteer of the Year award! James Taylor, a Champion with the Lake District National Park from Barrow in Furness and Jerry Bass, a Champion with the Northumberland National Park from Newcastle both made it onto the shortlist. Jerry received the award for his outstanding contribution to volunteering in Northumberland, and particularly the trips for new visitors he has organised.

Exmoor Young Champions have been assisting with groups and carrying out conservation activities on Exmoor over the last few months.  Ollie Barnett, who is also an NCS ambassador helped out with a large group of young people from the National Citizen Service (NCS) program at Petroc College in Barnstaple in mid October.  As part of their social action project the group decided to construct peat dams on Exmoor to assist the Exmoor Mires Project.

A second NCS group, assisted by Champion Doug Ripley, cleared Birch trees from a site of special Scientific Interest on North Hill near Minehead to help Exmoor National Park with the management of the site.  Doug also led some of the group in creating a temporary shelter during the day. A number of the SRYP group have expressed an interest in becoming a Young Champion themselves.

In November 12 Young Champions helped staff from the Wild Trout Trust work on the River Avill on the edge of Exmoor to help build in river flow deflectors (posts in the river bed and bank to hold logs in place in a carefully designed way) to make habitat for wild fish, in particular trout.

Meanwhile Champions and other youth people in the Yorkshire Dales National Park spent a day shovelling tonnes of aggregate on the path going up Pen-y-ghent and spreading it over the worn surface. The path is part of the famous Three Peaks Trail – a 24 mile long walk. The following day the group did a sponsored walk of the path raising £385.50 for the Three Peaks Project which maintains the heavily used network of paths.

The same weekend, Northumberland Champions cycled from St Bees on the west coast across Cumbria across the UK to their home in Newcastle. They took three days and were kindly supported by Sustrans and the YHA. They raised over £300 towards a new youth centre in the west end of Newcastle. Read more about their epic ride here.