Meet our new President, Caroline Quentin

Caroline Quentin may be best known for appearing in some of our most well-loved British TV programmes, like Men Behaving Badly, Blue Murder and Dickensian. But one of her true passions has always been her love of the outdoors and National Parks.

Caroline lives just on the outskirts of Exmoor National Park and when she’s not on TV spends time with her children taking them to visit the Park. Filming Caroline Quentin’s National Parks – a three part series where she visited three different National Parks in England, Wales and Scotland, Caroline loved seeing the character and personality of each of the Parks.

Did you always dream of being in front of a camera? No, as a tiny girl I dreamed of being a ballet dancer and I went to classes from the age of three until I was 18. Acting came much later. I earned my living as a dancer and then a singer until I was nearly 30.

We know you have lots of pets at home. Who rules your house – your dogs, your cats or your kids? The five dogs think they rule the house but of course it’s the six cats who are the brains of the outfit.

 

 

 

 

What did you enjoy the most when you were filming Caroline Quentin’s National Parks? I loved filming all of it! But highlights were seeing the ponies in the New Forest, holding baby owls in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in Scotland and going down a slate mine in Snowdonia.

What’s the most nerve-racking thing you’ve had to do as part of your TV career? I’ve done lots of nerve-racking things on camera but working 60 feet up a tree with a tree surgeon in the New Forest is right up there.

What do you see as the challenges for National Parks at the moment? We must keep the National Parks relevant. We face changes - some good, some not so good. But we must keep open, flexible and inclusive, as well as preserving the beauty and peace of our National Parks. It’s a tricky juggling act but very worthwhile.

 

 

This year is our 80th anniversary, what do you imagine the National Parks being like in another 80 years? I hope the National Parks will be bigger, better attended, and as loved as they are now. My dearest wish is that school children would think of their nearest National Park as their own playground, classroom and garden.

Why did you decide to become President of the Campaign for National Parks? I’ve become President because I think the Parks are a truly important national asset. The National Parks are for everyone and I want to encourage people to use them, enjoy them and protect them for future generations. I don’t think they should be ‘pickled in aspic’, not able to change with the times and the changing needs of our children and our children’s children.

We want to say a huge thank you to Exmoor Adventures who took Caroline and us out for a fantastic day of kayaking! Find out about all the activities they have on offer here.