Park Protector Award winner announced today

Judges of the Campaign for National Parks’ Park Protector Award have chosen the Woollenline project as the winner of its prestigious award and accompanying £2000 bursary. This project, based in Brecon Beacons National Park stood out amongst an excellent shortlist because of its highly innovative approach and local impact and participation. 
 
Local artist Pip Woolf runs the project which uses lines of wool to protect peat from erosion, and joins local communities together in the process.  For 34 years no one had come up with a solution to repair damage caused by fire that had left seven hectares of peat exposed to erosion. 
 
Pip Woolf stepped in, working with schools, the local community, local farmers and graziers, she laid down 2700 metres of felted wool in nine lines to protect the peat. The felt provides a cover for the peat, stabilising it and allowing plants to seed and grow.  Nets stuffed with wool called ‘wool sausages’ are placed in erosion channels.  These absorb water and release it slowly reducing the erosive power of water.  As the wool lines and sausages break down they provide nutrients to the plants.  Using low grade wool and pony transport Woollen Lines is using low energy solutions.
 
Pip is overjoyed to have won the award, and has ambitious plans for how she will expand the project using the bursary.  She says:

Hundreds of people helped create the Woollenline, first a single line in 2010 and by 2012 eight more woolly lines.  I personally feel delighted at the recognition by winning the Park Protector award that will undoubtedly deepen the commitment to grow continuing lines of connection across the uplands of the Brecon Beacons National Park."

There is more information about the Wollenline project, together with images, on Pip Woolf’s blog at woollenline.wordpress.com/
 
The Woollenline  was nominated by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, who have supported the project.   Evan Morgan, Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, responded to the award:
 
“We are delighted that Pip has won this award. Our staff and members have been really pleased to work with Pip on this innovative project which brought a range of stakeholders together to raise awareness of issues affecting the uplands and finding positive ways to collaboratively take action. We very much look forward to working with Pip in the future to take forward these ideas and restore more of our precious peatland resource.”
 
Every year the Park Protector Award recognises and supports a project or individual showing excellence in restoring, conserving or protecting our most treasured landscapes.  This year we had an excellent response with a fantastic range of 18 projects from nearly all of the National Parks in England and Wales.  Four other projects were particularly commended; Derbyshire Wildlife Trust weekend volunteers, ‘Hay Time’ meadows conservation in the Yorkshire Dales, the Traditional Estates Craft Apprenticeship project on the North York Moors, and the John Muir Award in Cumbria.
 
We are grateful for the support of members of the Park Protector Club, our award sponsor HF Holidays, and the members of our judging panel who make the awards possible.
 
Find out more about becoming a Park Protector here
 
Read more about all of the nominations here