New Perspectives – Tony’s story

Can a National Park help you find your identity? Our latest set of films, launched as part of the New Perspectives bursary awards, suggest they can.

Created by 22-year-old Tony Karoly from Dorset, the four short films titled Natural Outsiders explore the relationships four very different individuals have with the Brecon Beacons National Park.

  • The Warrior: “The National Park and nature saved me from doing something that would have made me miserable.”
  • The Custodian: “The National Park helped me find my identity.”
  • The Adventurer: “The National Park made me who I am.”
  • The Protector: “The National Park gave me a social life and a volunteering family.”

These are the voices of four individuals who live, work, and play in the Brecon Beacons National Park captured in Tony’s films.

Tony was one of 10 young storytellers to receive £1,000 in funding and training from Ocean City Media as part of our new bursary scheme, which aims to amplify the voices of those less heard in National Parks.

The first of Tony’s storytelling films, entitled, The Warrior, explores why Tony believes the Brecon Beacons National Park saved her mental health.

On working on this project, Tony said:

“When I left university during the pandemic, I was really depressed, but what helped was being out in nature. If I hadn’t been introduced to the Brecon Beacons, I might have felt compelled to stay at university when I hated it. I really wanted to be a politician or a diplomat, but then I realised I could spend my days looking at rocks. So that’s what I did.”

Dr Rose O’Neill, Chief Executive of Campaign for National Parks said:
“National Parks are so important to our identity – as a nation, and as individuals. These are the places that make us and, as Tony’s wonderful films show, give us so much in mental and physical health benefits.

“This is why it’s in all our interests to stand up and fight for the future of these places and ensure that they have the powers and investment needed to shape our identity and secure our health for generations to come”.

Support the National Parks in England and Wales and help us make sure that a diverse range of communities have access to them by making a donation.

Tony’s other three films feature:
Kevin – The Custodian
Kevin is a Hill Guide and Mountain leader based in the Brecon Beacons who has spent the last 50 years in the National Park doing anything he can to spend more time outdoors.
“It’s good for your head; it’s good for your body; why would you want to be anywhere else?
I have no idea where I’d be if it were not for the NP – it’s given me an identity.”

Tom – The Adventurer
Tom is a keen climber and caver who wants to give others the experience he had that made him who he is today.
He told Tony: “I think the National Park is so important because it holds so many good memories – it’s essentially made me who I am.”

Jess  The Protector
“I just always felt myself in nature; I can just be how I want to be without being judged by anyone. It allows me to do my hobby – mountain rescue, which gives me a social life and has helped me find a family in the Mountain Rescue team.”

Find out more about the New Perspectives Bursary scheme, which gives a platform to those voices less heard in our National Parks here