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£10,000 fundraiser gives Christmas gift to vital access projects across the Peak District

Adventurous Derbyshire travel writer and chair of charity the Peak District National Park Foundation, Jen Lowthrop who recently hiked across England’s 10 national parks, has this week announced the two projects which will receive a great Christmas gift: the £10,000 she has raised for Peak District projects.

Businesswoman Jen (38) who was born and raised in Matlock, explains why she chose to raise money for the Peak District. “I feel so privileged to experience the joy of walking in a national park every week. Connecting with nature consistently helps my own mental and physical health, and I want everyone to be able to experience the benefits our national parks bring. From carbon sequestration to improving wellbeing, they bring benefits to communities across the UK, and our wider natural world.”

Director of the Peak District Foundation Roisin Joyce has been delighted to help Jen plan how the money raised can be invested most effectively. “We are so proud of all Jen has achieved. Her trek really was a fantastic fundraising effort and together we shall ensure every penny makes a difference.

£5,000 of the money she has raised will go to our Connect Fund, enabling us to make small community grants which remove barriers to under-served communities accessing the park. We will be able to support groups including school pupils from low-income areas, refugees and ethnically diverse communities to access our stunning park over the next year. The remaining £5,000 will go to repairing a vital route on the edge of the North Lees estate at Stanage.”

Peak District National Park Authority Access & Rights of Way Officer Sue Smith says the £5,000 grant has made a great Christmas present for her access team. “These funds have come at just the right time for us to improve access for everyone after the disastrous effects of the recent storms which have buffeted the country. One of our most popular routes, Long Causeway on the edge of the North Lees and Stanage Estate, has been washed out. The excessive rainfall running off the adjacent moorland has created gullies and removed entire sections of the route and its surfacing.

The funding will help us to carry out emergency reinstatement, clearing off surface stone brought down by the flooding and importing and placing stone in the gullies. Further work will help prevent a reoccurrence, with the ultimate aim of launching the Long Causeway ‘Miles without Stiles’ easy access route by Summer 2024.”

Champion walker Jen saw the impact first hand as she traversed the Peak District. “My route took me on Long Causeway where I saw the dreadful damage caused by the floods just days after it had happened. I am so pleased around half my fundraising will help fix this popular trail and enable it to be more accessible.”

Outdoor clothing brand Alpkit match funded Jen’s efforts with an additional £10,000 for two £500 grants per national park she visited. Peak District grassroots projects should note there is still time to make a short application for the two £500 grants and to donate to the Peak District fund


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