Honour a legacy - donate to our fight today

4 April 2019

We are doing important work but we urgently need your help to keep up the fight for National Parks. 

The glorious National Parks of England and Wales are the extraordinary result of generations John Dowerof campaigning and lobbying. In 2019, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the legislation that created them. It is timely to remember how they came into existence and reflect on the vital lessons we can draw from the campaigners who fought hard to make real the dream of access and enjoyment of the great outdoors for everyone.

For the last four months we have been preparing to honour the story of the original campaigners who gave so much so that we can enjoy the fresh air, peace and tranquillity of the National Parks. Our oral history project is recording the memories of some of these early campaigners and the people who knew them, so that everyone can learn about their work. Interviewees include Len Clark, who at 102 is the only surviving original member of the Standing Committee on National Parks from the 1930s.

We’ve also heard about the incredible life of John Dower, a man who wanted to see the nation enriched with protected, beautiful countryside, and who would not let a tragic illness stand in the way of his vision. And we’ve spoken to John Foster, the very first National Park Officer, who told us about the challenges of the first National Park and how he set up the original ranger service in the Peak District.

Telling their story

These oral histories are an important historic record. To honour the inspiring story that they relate, we must make sure visitors, residents and politicians alike do not take National Parks for granted.

John Dower an architect of the National Parks movement.

We cannot take National Parks for granted! Photo credit: PCNPA

Appreciating and understanding the struggle that campaigners undertook in the 1930s and 1940s, will help ensure the longevity of National Parks in the 21st century. At this key moment in their history to refresh and re-kindle our aspirations for the network of Parks to grow and become even better for the next 70 years.

Campaign for National Parks wants to make sure that the oral histories can be enjoyed by as wide a range of people as possible so that they feel inspired to sustain the legacy handed down to them. One of the ways we will do this is to produce a short narrated film to promote the recordings. We will share it widely with national and local charities, with the National Park societies, through the networks of the National Park Authorities, our partners and across our social media channels.

How you can help

Campaign for National Parks is proud to carry on the vital work of the early campaigners. Only recently we opposed the installation of zip wires in the Lake District, a luge run application in the Brecon Beacons, damaging road building proposals in the South Downs, and policy proposals from both Westminster and Welsh Governments that would have undermined important protections for National Parks.

We now are working to show the ways in which nature can be enhanced and restored, and how access to Parks can be improved. So help us ensure the legacyof Len, John, and many others is preserved and built upon.

Campaign for National Parks is a small, determined organisation with a massive remit and we are only able to achieve as much as we do with the generous help of our supporters. Please give whatever you can to help us in our work.

byJanette Ward

Chair of Campaign for National Parks

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