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First ever national ad campaign encourages new, young visitors to #LoveYourNationalParks

First ever national ad campaign encourages new, young visitors to #LoveYourNationalParks

PUBLISHED ON: 14 MAY 2021

Media release from UK National Parks

  • First ever national ad campaign: #LoveYourNationalParks
  • Top tip #PlanAhead to have the time of your life and make the ultimate connection to nature
  • Share the love use #LoveYourLitter to show the litter you take home

14 May 2021: Lockdown restrictions continue to ease across the UK and as record numbers of young and first-time visitors are expected to head to green spaces, UK National Parks have developed their first ever national advertising campaign created specifically to help these groups get the most from their visit.

John Packman, CEO of the Broads National Park and lead CEO for National Parks UK Communications, explains: “The nation is embracing the healing properties of nature as the lockdown comes to an end, and National Parks see this as a chance to help whole new sections of society fall in love with the outdoors and a great opportunity for us to make a connection with younger visitors that might not have been to a National Park before. Research shows connecting with nature has a powerful positive impact on our physical and mental health.”

At the heart of the campaign is the message to #PlanAhead, to follow the advice at www.nationalparks.uk/love to have the best possible time, and to #LoveYourLitter.

Packman explains: ‘If you’ve not been to a National Park before it’s difficult to know what to expect and the access to facilities will vary hugely. No one plans to drop litter, but if you plan to take your litter home then you’ll know to pack a bag you can store it in. Caring and taking action for nature is so important, and by helping to look out for nature you feel good in return – it’s a virtuous circle.’

The National Parks are urging everyone to show the love by using #LoveYourLitter in their social media posts and stories to share pictures of the bags of litter they are taking home.

Around 9 in 10 people surveyed by Natural England in May 2020 agreed that natural spaces are good for mental health and wellbeing. More than 40% noticed that nature, wildlife, and visiting local green and natural spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing since the coronavirus restrictions began. These percentages have remained stable throughout the pandemic.

Tom Hind, CEO of North York Moors National Park and head of the joint Visitor Management Group gives some more context to the campaign: ‘It’s the 70th anniversary of the first National Parks in the UK and we see over 100 million visits in a quiet year. We learned a lot last year about how to help people make the most of their National Parks when visitor numbers are twice and three times the usual. We anticipate 2021 is going to be just that busy.

‘Our key message is that to have the best, safest time, people should do a little planning ahead. Being flexible is important. So if you get to your destination and it’s too crowded to park, you should already know what plan B and C is – or at least how to make those plans, even without wifi or a mobile signal. The best place to start is nationalparks.uk/love or the website of the National Park you are visiting which will have the latest advice and tips for planning the visit that fits your bill.’

-ENDS –

Notes to Editors

The 30 second TV advert can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/547513863

A selection of images from the campaign can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-zLYpGjEk2D

For more information, interviews and more high-resolution images, contact:

Ally Barber:        07748 302608   alastair.barber@naitonalparks.uk

Tobie Galvin:     07796 224224   tobie.galvin@nationalparks.uk

About UK National Parks

There are 15 National Parks in the UK, covering 10% of Great Britain.  National Parks are visited over 100 million times each year. 2021 sees the 70th Anniversary of the first four National Parks – Peak District, Dartmoor, Lake District and Snowdonia. For more information www.nationalparks.uk

Research on nature connectedness:

A systematic review of 50 studies shows nature connection is related to feeling good & functioning well, identifying benefits such as lowered anxiety, improved body image, increased happiness and improved life satisfaction. Derby University identifies five steps to nature connectedness:

  • Senses – tuning in to nature through the senses
  • Emotion – feeling alive through the emotions and feelings nature brings
  • Beauty – noticing nature’s beauty
  • Meaning – nature bringing meaning to our lives
  • Compassion – caring and taking action for nature

https://www.derby.ac.uk/research/centres-groups/nature-connectedness-research-group/

ONS statistics on the change in behaviour and relationship to nature during the COVID pandemic.:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/articles/howhaslockdownchangedourrelationshipwithnature/2021-04-26

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