National Parks contain the most beautiful, spectacular and dramatic areas of countryside in England. The Landscapes Review (Glover Review) rightly highlights these places are national assets supported in part through state funding and therefore are available for everyone to enjoy and support the nation’s health and wellbeing.
However, the Review highlighted that visitors are not always representative of the full spectrum of British society. As part of COVID-19 recovery the time is right to begin addressing the disconnect of some groups, and help the nation’s recovery from the global pandemic by supporting people’s health and wellbeing through access to the outdoors.
What are we trying to achieve?
We will increase our awareness of the needs and requirements of a diverse audience of people and seek to deliver their priorities over the next five years.
We will increase support to help underserved groups and people to access the outdoors and promote the health and wellbeing benefits of the outdoors.
We will improve representation of voices developing strategies and corporate processes.
We will improve visitors' understanding of how to care for the Lake District and its communities.
These intentions outline our long term aspirations to build on our Vision for a world class visitor experience. The actions detailed below provide a starting point from which to build – they are part of the journey rather than the final destination to ensure the Lake District serves the whole of British society.
Create a dedicated Engagement and Outreach Team to provide progressive opportunities for engagement to target underserved groups either in local outdoor spaces or in the Lake District itself. The Engagement and Outreach Team will then identify priority activity to ensure the Lake District is a place for everyone whether connected through association or by a physical visit.
Ensure the Lake District is welcoming for all by:
Developing a ‘Warm Welcome’ certificated training scheme, applicable to the Tourism sector and other staff engaging with visitors. Embed the training as a requirement into existing staff professional development and into new staff roles.
Promoting the ‘Warm Welcome’ training scheme to businesses and organisations through existing networks to encourage its take up to develop staff skills.
Delivering greater coverage of ‘on the ground ambassadors’ by joining up and focusing visitor facing rangers, staff, and volunteers across the Partnership organisations, and where possible appointing additional rangers to fill gaps.
Developing and promoting a wider range of volunteering opportunities and packages (including volunteering holidays) that meet the needs of a diverse audience to create enjoyable experiences.
Establishment of an Engagement and Outreach Team which delivers actions to improve engagement within two specific geographical areas where communities are underserved with their connection to National Parks and the outdoors.
At least 25% of businesses in the tourism sector complete the ‘Warm Welcome’ training scheme by 2025.
At least 25% of people undertaking new volunteering packages are from a combination of low socio-economic groups, Visibly Minority Ethnic, and young people.
25% increase in use of monitored active travel routes on 2019 baseline.
Increasing number of people who feel health and wellbeing benefits.
As this is a new topic area for the Partnership these indicators may be subject to further refinement once the Engagement and Outreach Team has been established and their delivery plan is developed further.
Understanding the benefits and costs of the Lake District for health and well-being.
How do we encourage visitor behaviour that supports the Lake District environment?
What is the social, environmental and economic value created by the Lake District National Park as a result of investing in equality and diversity? A Social Return on Investment (SROI) study.
The Lake District National Park Authority looks after this unique corner of England, encouraging people to enjoy and understand its beauty and helping those who live and work here. Our staff include rangers and field workers, advisers at our visitor centres, planners and ecologists.