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A group of 10 home-educated children from the Penrith area each received a John Muir Award on Friday (5 June) from Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border.
As part of the Penrith Home Education Group the children, aged 11-15, spent the past five weeks connecting with the Lake District National Park and learning how to care for the environment. Their achievements were celebrated at The Gathering Coffee House in Penrith, where Rory Stewart presented each child with their award.
Colin Davis, a parent in the group, said: “We chose to do the John Muir Award to give the young people the opportunity to get closer to nature and experience wildlife together – they really enjoyed it and unanimously want to take on the next John Muir Award challenge!”
Activity for the John Muir Award included visiting Haweswater to explore woodlands and the lake, joining staff from United Utilities as they walked across part of the dam and discussed the reasons behind the reservoir, including the need to supply Manchester with water.
The group worked under the supervision of a local artist to produce artwork based on their visits to the wood and also joined local outdoor teachers and the RSPB to gain an understanding of local woodland. They also learned how to enjoy and care for the environment and on their final visit to the woods cleared a number of bags of litter.
Rory Stewart MP said: "I am a great admirer of the John Muir Trust, which recognises our link between the conservation of our landscape, our interaction with it, and personal growth. I am very proud to be able to personally congratulate these young people on the work they have done in obtaining this wonderful certificate, which is a marvellous recognition of our connection to the landscape and its benefits to us all, whether we live in rural or urban areas."
Graham Watson, manager for the John Muir Award in the Lake District said: “This was a great opportunity for these young people to visit the National Park to learn and understand the different demands on our landscape. The challenge to balance these for both nature and people are very much in the ethos of John Muir. Well done to them all!”
To find out more about the John Muir Award in the Lake District visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/johnmuiraward