National Parks: New Perspectives Bursaries

Campaign for National Parks is inviting young storytellers to share their stories about People, Climate and Nature in National Parks in England and Wales as part of a National Parks: New Perspectives bursary scheme

We have partnered with Ocean City Media to deliver the new scheme which will support early career communicators (aged 19–35) to tell compelling factual stories based in National Parks in England and Wales. 

The focus of these five National Parks: New Perspectives bursaries is on factual-based storytelling which uncovers stories relating to People, Climate and Nature - a theme we've been exploring throughout 2021. From film-making and long-form journalism to audio interviews and infographics, it’s about enabling people to delve into issues affecting National Parks. 

“We understand the importance and power of reporting stories from National Parks to inspire people to love and care for these protected landscapes,” said Campaign for National Parks' Campaigns and Communications Manager Laura Williams.

“From previous projects we’ve run and our ongoing engagement with diverse communities, we also know the importance of making space for – and amplifying – voices of younger people and under-represented groups, offering paid opportunities to develop their storytelling skills. We're very excited to see the results of this new programme.” 

The National Parks: New Perspectives bursaries were made possible thanks to a major donor’s contribution and supporters donating to our crowdfunder appeal earlier this year, which was fund-matched by the John Spedan Lewis Foundation. Working closely with our newest corporate partner, Ocean City Media, we’re able to offer five bursaries of £1,000 each in this first round, alongside training and mentoring from industry experts. 

Based near Dartmoor National Park, Ocean City Media was founded by a brilliant team of BBC journalists and expert storytellers. They will help deliver a pre-application workshop offering guidance on how to create a strong application; they will run a tailored storytelling workshop for the bursary holders and be on hand for mentoring for the duration of the bursary (Dec 2021–Mar 2022). 

Ocean City Media’s Managing Director Sam Smith said: "Ocean City Media is delighted to partner with Campaign for National Parks to support this bursary scheme. Stories told by authentic and diverse voices have a unique power and it's a real privilege to help nurture the next generation of National Park communicators."  

Who can apply? 

We have created the National Parks: New Perspectives bursaries to support early career communicators aged 19–35 based in the UK. 

You do not need any formal qualifications to apply, but we ask that you submit at least one and up to three published (online or in print) examples of your work with your application. This will give us a sense of your style and help us select a diverse portfolio of contributors. 

What we’re looking for...

We want to encourage a diverse range of entries, which span different genres of factual storytelling and reporting, including but not confined to, film-making, long-form journalism, audio interviews and infographics. 

Your bursary project must:

  • be specific to one or more of the National Parks in England and Wales
  • explore topic(s) that fit broadly under one or more of the themes of People, Climate and Nature
  • be original and specifically created as part of this bursary

We cannot fund any work that does not clearly relate to one or more of the National Parks in England and Wales or work which does not address one or more of the themes of People, Climate and Nature. 

We ask you to consider the following questions as part of your pitch:

  • What do National Parks mean to you? 
  • What are the stories about your chosen National Park(s) that need telling? 
  • Why is this project important? 
  • What is the impact you are hoping to achieve? 
  • What is ambitious, fresh and imaginative about your project? 
  • How will it contribute to your professional development or create future opportunities? 
  • Who are your audiences? 
  • Whose voices are you trying to amplify? 
  • Who do you need to engage with on this? 

How to apply 

The scheme is now open for applications. The easiest way to apply for a National Parks: New Perspectives bursary is via this online form - ensuring we receive your application by 23.45 on Thursday 4 November 2021.  

As part of your application, we will ask more about your chosen topic and which National Park it relates to, the media format in which you are going to present your project, and how you plan on delivering it – including how you plan to use the funding. 

Please see here for full Terms & Conditions. We encourage you to complete an anonymous diversity monitoring form too, which you can find here. It will not be used to assess your application and will not be seen by the selection panel.

If you’re unable to apply online, please contact us via email on: or leave a voicemail on: 020 3096 7714 and we can advise of alternative options. 

We encourage you to join us for a free pre-application online workshop from 6-6.30pm on Tuesday 19 October 2021. Please register for the event here. There is no charge for attending this event. 

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Key dates 

  • 1 October 2021 – National Parks: New Perspectives bursary programme launches 
  • 19 October 2021 – Application preparation workshop for interested applicants 
  • 4 November 2021 – Deadline for applications 
  • w/c 15 November 2021 – Selection p​anel chooses 5 winners 
  • w/c 22 November 2021 – Successful applicants notified 
  • 1 December 2021 – Projects start 
  • 9 December 2021 - Storytelling workshop by Ocean City Media
  • 4 March 2022 – Projects complete