Eastern Moors youth volunteers recognised in national awards
The shortlist for the 2018 National Parks Volunteer Awards has been announced and has brought some delightful news to the Eastern Moors Partnership in the Peak District: not one, but two of the categories contain nominees from the Eastern Moors.
Osian Wilson has been nominated for the top prize of ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ in the Young Person category (under 25) and the Eastern Moors Youth Rangers are in the Groups category.
Osian, aged 17, has volunteered on the Eastern Moors for three years, firstly as a Youth Ranger and now as Conservation Trainee. Osian lives with autism spectrum disorder and left mainstream education two years ago. Since then, he has assisted with estate maintenance on the Eastern Moors on a weekly basis and is now working towards a qualification in conservation through his volunteer work.
Osian’s passion for protecting the natural environment has inspired him to start a national campaign to end littering through education in schools. He is hoping that the publicity from this award will raise awareness of his campaign and help end the plight of dumped waste in the Peak District.
Osian said: “When I was ill and could no longer go to school the moors saved me and now I want to save them. Getting the award means I can use it to help with my campaign. If we teach the children when they are young to respect our world, they will grow up and teach their own children.”
For more details of Osian’s litter campaign and to sign the petition, see: www.facebook.com/battlingthelitter
The Youth Ranger group is an important part of the volunteer team on the Eastern Moors, comprised of 11-18 year olds who want to give back to this fantastic landscape. Through their involvement in the group, Youth Rangers develop practical skills such as woodland management and track repairs, which assist the work of the Eastern Moors wardens. As well as this, the Youth Rangers build personal skills through working together as a team, and are sometimes treated to fun activities such as archery and orienteering.
Katherine Clarke, who set up the Youth Ranger group in her role as Visitor Experience Manager at Eastern Moors said, “Youth Rangers was set up in 2012 to offer an opportunity for young people to be involved in looking after this special place. In 2013 we were delighted to receive HLF funding for our Guardians of the Moors project of which Youth Rangers was a significant element. Youth Rangers is about young people coming together to deliver direct conservation in the Peak District, investing their time and energy into looking after special places like the Eastern Moors.”
If you'd like to get ionvolved with volunteering on the Eastern Moors, read about our current vacancies.