Updated: Jun 4, 2019
By Toria Cox
Peak District National Park Engagement Manager, Lorna Fisher, is currently preparing to cycle 1,658 miles through all 15 of the UK’s national parks in just 2 weeks. Her challenge begins in Cairngorms National Park on 13th April, passing through the Peak District 19th April and finishing in the Norfolk Broads National Park on 27th April.
This grueling challenge coincides with National Parks Fortnight (6th – 21st April) which celebrates the 70th anniversary of the 1946 Act of Parliament, which established the Peak District as the first of many protected National Parks in the UK. During her cycling challenge, Lorna aims to raise funds for the Peak District National Park Foundation, as part of their #70kfor70 campaign.
We caught up with Lorna to see how she’s feeling on the lead up to her cycling challenge…
Q: Hi Lorna, thanks for speaking to us today! In just over a month’s time, you are taking on the Pedalling the Parks challenge. Where did the idea to cycle through all 15 of the UK’s national parks come from, and has this been done before?
A: I believe it hasn’t been done before, as far as google searches go anyway. It is about twice the distance of Lands’ end to John O Groats, which is a popular route.
I’ve been inspired by other environmental adventure activists such as Sarah Outen and Al Humphreys, who use their passion to explore with learning and spreading messages about important environment concerns.
At the 2018 Europarc Conference hosted by Cairngorms National Park we launched the Youth Manifesto and many young people were so passionate about our National Parks and it fired me up to thinking what could I do to spread awareness, and help more people learn about, love and care for our NPs.
I love riding bikes and haven’t visited all the parks so this felt like the perfect fit.
Q: By taking on the Pedalling the Peaks Challenge, you also hope to raise money for the Peak District National Park Foundation, which is fantastic. How will this money benefit the UK’s busiest national park?
A: This year is the 70th anniversary of the Act of Parliament that led to the Peak District becoming the UK’s first National Park. We want to keep the spirit of access and enjoyment of our National Parks going into the future. So we are aiming to raise £70,000 to mark this milestone by launching the #70kfor70 campaign. £70,000 will:
Restore damaged moorland and protect habitats
Look after important cultural heritage
Help people access the National Park
Every penny goes to delivering much-needed projects within your National Park.