The former Countryfile presenter was at the Buxton Crescent Hotel on Thursday, March 24, to toast some of the donors, funders, supporters, businesses and ambassadors who have raised funds for the Peak District National Park Foundation’s conservation and engagement projects.
Guests included the Earl and Countess of Burlington and Kelvin and Elizabeth Fletcher of BBC series Kelvin’s Big Farming Adventure.
Julia told them: “On April 17, 1951, the Peak District made history as the UK’s first national park. Decades of campaigning for access and protection of our countryside led to the creation of national parks and that passion and connection to the Peak District continues to grow.
“The foundation directs the love people have for the Peak District to the projects that have the greatest impact in achieving its vision of a National Park enjoyed and conserved by everyone, forever.”
The foundation has raised nearly £225,000 since it was established in 2019 as part of the 70th anniversary programme, and the event also marked the launch of its new campaign ‘Connect Recover Thrive’, which has set a £500,000 target to support investment in nature recovery initiatives.
Chair of trustees Jen Lowthrop said: “There’s a lot to be proud of, but still much more to do. Together we can help combat climate change, support nature recovery, care for our heritage and habitats and ensure the national park is accessible and welcoming to all, and ensure the Peak District thrives for many generations to come.”
She added: “We will work to connect people from all backgrounds to nature, improve wellbeing through that connection and continue to support thriving communities in and around the park.
“It also reflects our ambition to join up habitats, to restore nature and create thriving landscapes - supporting an environment which contributes to the fight against climate change.”
Fundraising manager Sarah Slowther said: “We simply wouldn’t be where we are without our supporters. The park needs us just as much as we need it and we’re truly grateful for everyone’s support.”