Young people are to have a say on the decision-making for Northumberland National Park.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart has announced plans for the country’s first National Park Youth Cabinet.
The new cabinet will give local people aged 16 to 25 an active role in governing their National Park and encouraging others to help look after it – today and for the future.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “With more than 90 million annual visitors to our National Parks they are an essential and very valuable part of rural life, bringing jobs and investment.
“It’s absolutely right young people – the future custodians of our natural world – have a say in how they are run.
“Important projects like this make that happen, giving teenagers and young adults first hand understanding of their true value – not just in monetary terms – but as part of our precious natural heritage.”
Glen Sanderson, chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are very pleased to welcome the Minister to Northumberland National Park where he has met some of the young people involved in our brand new Youth Cabinet, and taken part in some of our exciting and popular National Parks Week activities.
“We have enjoyed working with young people for a long time – through apprenticeships, training schemes, and our wide range of activities – and we genuinely value the creativity and inspiration that young people bring.
“Our Youth Cabinet puts young people at the heart of what we do at the National Park as they are an integral part of the decision making process, and we listen and learn much from their views.
“National Parks are amongst Britain’s most valued treasures, and we are ensuring that we do all we can to encourage young people to learn about, explore, and care for our National Parks so that future generations can continue to enjoy these national assets for years to come.”