Since 1994, over £60million of National Lottery funding has helped conserve and open up the UK’s 15 National Parks.
From the Cairngorms to Dartmoor, each National Park is unique. Here, we take a look at some of the National Lottery funded projects that have helped them flourish.
Protecting our natural heritage
National Parks exist to preserve areas of natural beauty, but sometimes even these protected environments need a little help to prevent damage to habitats and ecosystems.
With millions of visitors to Scotland’s National Parks each year, upland paths were suffering from serious erosion, and fragile habitats were in danger.
Thanks to the National Lottery funded Mountains and the People project, £3.26m will be spent on repairs and educating visitors about how they can conserve the environment they are there to enjoy.
Regenerating historic towns and villages
While nature is central to National Parks, they are aslo the setting for many heritage-rich towns and villages.
Dolgellau Townscape Heritage is typical of how National Lottery funding can help. After years of decline, this ‘architectural gem’ has received more than £1m to help with regeneration through sympathetic restoration of historic buildings, ensuring Dolgellau is a vibrant centre for residents and visitors for many years to come.
Getting the people in
Last but not least, HLF support has helped people engage National Parks who might otherwise not have done so.
The Independent guide to the South Downs project recruited volunteers from local Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, encouraging them to explore the park and make it their own.
Participants designed and published their own guide to the park. They had the chance to develop a range of skills and created a lasting resource that will help future generations understand and value the heritage of the South Downs.
After all, without people to cherish them, where would our National Parks be?