Tarmac has supported the ‘National Parks Big Picnic’, a special celebration marking the 70 years since the ground-breaking 1949 Act of Parliament that established UK National Parks.
The ‘National Parks Big Picnic’ saw more than 500 people gather to enjoy a picnic and a cream tea in the beautiful surroundings of Simonsbath’s riverside meadows at the heart of Exmoor’s former Royal Forest.
The celebrations were attended by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who were greeted by leaders from across the UK National Park family. They also met groups such as the Exmoor Society and Exmoor Hill Farming Network, children from Exford First School, local producers and craftspeople, and were presented with a hamper of local Exmoor produce to enjoy at home.
The event was sponsored by Tarmac with further support from The Exmoor Society, Somerset County Council, Devon County Council, Exmoor Hill Farming Network and the family of UK National Parks.
Speaking of the event, Stuart Wykes, director of Land and Natural Resources at Tarmac said: “Tarmac is proud to have been able to sponsor this event in celebration of the National Parks 70th anniversary. We have a long history working within the national parks so it’s great to be involved in such a special event.”
The Act, described at the time as a “recreational gift to Britain’s returning Second World War service men and women”, set out to recognise, conserve and enhance access to landscapes deemed to be “of national importance and quality”.
Seventy years on the UK has 15 National Parks, attracting over 130 million visitor days a year, worth almost £6bn to the UK tourism economy and much more in terms of crucial ecosystem services, such as carbon storage, flood prevention, clean air and water.
The national parks refer to the Peak District, the Lake District, Snowdonia, Dartmoor, Pembrokeshire Coast, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Exmoor, Northumberland, the Brecon Beacons, The Broads, Cairngorms, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, New Forest and South Downs.
Image Credit: The Prince of Wales meets guests at the Big Picnic (Credit: Exmoor National Park)