St Michael’s Environmental Education Centre becomes the first Ambassador Centre for the Peak District National Park
Nottinghamshire County Council’s St Michael’s Environmental Education Centre is the first to become an Ambassador Centre for the Peak District National Park, following approval by the council’s Children and Young People’s Committee earlier this year.
The partnership agreement between the County Council and the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) has awarded the centre ‘Ambassador Status’ by the National Park Authority.
The aim of this partnership is to support the National Park in its efforts to conserve, enhance and promote opportunities for outdoor enjoyment within the Peak District. Through unique residential experiences, children of Nottinghamshire can gain a greater appreciation of the National Park and how these internationally-important landscapes benefit all of our lives and the wildlife that makes a home in them.
St Michael’s Environmental Education Centre is owned and operated by the county council and has been providing high quality outdoor learning experiences for primary school children for over 34 years.
Set in a historic building in the village of Hathersage in the Peak District, St Michael’s is perfectly placed to promote the shared message about the importance of national parks and the environment. Each year, more than 1600 children and young people benefit from outdoor learning experiences at the centre. The agreement will further promote opportunities for learning outside of the classroom with time spent in nature while being inspired to care for their surroundings.
Nottinghamshire County Council offers high quality, inclusive outdoor and environmental education activities to children and young people through its residential bases and day centres in Nottinghamshire and the Peak District. The centres’ resources and activities encourage children to develop confidence, independence and a deeper appreciation of the natural work with an increased understanding of how to enjoy it responsibly.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s committee commented: “I am very proud that St Michael’s is the first Ambassador Centre for this area. This partnership will mean an enhanced outdoor learning experience at the centre. In addition to the experienced team at St Michael’s, young people will directly benefit from conservation and environmental education and training provided by a team of expert rangers caring for the environment.
“As an Ambassador Centre, the aim is that even more young people will be able to benefit from the quality outdoor learning on offer while immersed in the special environment of the Peak District.”
Councillor Andrew McCloy, Chairman of the PDNPA said: “We’re delighted that St Michael’s is the first of our Peak District National Park ‘Ambassador’ centres. The scheme is at the heart of our ongoing engagement work with local communities, not only in the National Park itself, but in the vast region surrounding the 555 square miles of the Peak District.
“With some 20 million people within an hour’s drive of the National Park, Ambassador centres like St Michael’s have the opportunity to provide stepping stones into communities, where youngsters can begin to discover how caring for and protecting our National Parks is good for us all.”