The UK’s first National Park, founded on April 17 1951, will be celebrating it’s 70th birthday in just under a month.
Chief Executive Sarah Fowler said: “The Peak District National Park has been here for everyone for seventy years inspiring the lives of thousands of residents and millions of visitors.
“Whilst no-one could have anticipated the global circumstances in which we find ourselves looking forward to this remarkable milestone, it is perhaps holding a mirror to the Peak District’s ground-breaking early years as people sought sanctuary within the open spaces that contrasted with our daily and urban lives – just as we are now.
“However, we are able to celebrate – either in person or through the inspiring digital spaces available to us in 2021, I’m sure everyone will want to reflect on the difference our national parks have made throughout the country.”
A series of pandemic safe activities have been organised, including a 70-kilometre charity run with the aim of raising £70,000 for the Peak District National Park Foundation, which funds access projects around the Peaks.
The online launch of ‘70 years, 70 remarkable people’ has also been introduced. It presents profiles of the individuals who were key to establishing the Peak District.
An online anniversary edition of the ParkLife magazine, the Peak Districts magazine for visitors and residents, is also due to be launched at the end of March.
The National Park attracts 13 million visitors a year and is home to 38,000 residents. More people than ever are visiting national parks to seek ‘green recovery’ from the coronavirus pandemic.
Others have not been able to visit due to travel or health restrictions.
Adrian Tippetts, a regular expedition goer in the High Peaks from North London said: “I have missed the Peaks during lockdown- you can be sure I will be planning an expedition as soon as lockdown ends.”
Gill MacLaine, an Archaeology graduate from the University of Sheffield said: “I have been visiting the Peak District since I was born as my grandparents lived in Sheffield.
“As an adult I moved to Sheffield and use the Peak District as my sanctuary, my church. Lockdown has been so hard on my mental health not having access to my healing place.”
To find out more about the 70th anniversary of the Peak District go to: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/70.