The sterling efforts of BMC Peak District volunteers in sticking up for Stanage Edge were recognised by royalty this weekend.
During a ceremony on the North Lees estate, home to Stanage Edge, volunteer Henry Folkard received an award from Prince Edward recognising the 'British Mountaineering Council and Stanage Forum for an outstanding contribution in looking after the Peak District National Park.'
Henry has argued tirelessly for the interest of walkers and climbers in the Peak District on behalf of the BMC for more than 15 years. In recent times he has led the BMC's local engagement with the Peak District National Park through the Stand up for Stanage campaign.
Fellow volunteer Adam Long has also been closely involved with the campaign, and was present at the ceremony to meet the visiting royal.
Accompanied by HM Lord-Lieutenant William Tucker, Prince Edward also recognised the efforts of Bill Gordon, Stanage-North Lees warden; Mike Harding and Keith Singleton, Stanage-North Lees volunteer rangers; and Geoff Nickolds, retiring deputy-chair of the Peak District National Park Authority.
Among many other things, the Prince heard about the 'Stick up for Stanage
' scheme, where visitors are being encouraged to contribute £15 to improve access and help look after the estate's internationally important landscape. In return they receive a car sticker which grants them 12 months of free parking at Stanage car parks and a discount at the campsite.
The scheme is the product of a partnership between the national park and the Stanage Forum, which was revitalised after the BMC's Stand up for Stanage campaign
to help safeguard the future of the much-loved area.
We strongly encourage walkers and climbers to buy the sticker. All donations go directly towards the upkeep of Stanage North Lees and strengthen the voice of recreational users in determining how it is cared for in the future.
Rebekah Newman, property manager for Stanage-North Lees, hosted the visit and introduced Prince Edward to the authority chair, Cllr Lesley Roberts, and chief executive Sarah Fowler, as well as representatives of the BMC, Mountain Rescue, Stanage Forum, Local Access Forum, and various members of the national park authority.
Among the issues discussed were the importance of Stanage Edge to climbers, walkers and the local community, the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme in the Peak District and the Sheffield Moors Partnership, who were represented by Nabil Abbas of Sheffield Wildlife Trust and Danny Udall of the Eastern Moors Partnership .
The Earl of Wessex also met Michael Longworth, tenant farmer on the estate, and a family staying at the historic North Lees Hall, the original inspiration for Charlotte Bronte’s Thornfield Hall and now let as holiday accommodation by the Vivat Trust.
National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler said: “It was a privilege to share Stanage-North Lees with Prince Edward, to show him its wild beauty but most importantly for him to see the diverse range of people – including schoolchildren, families, farmers, climbers, walkers, and volunteers – who benefit from and contribute to this magnificent national park landscape in so many different ways.”
Prince Edward was presented with gifts of local produce including local honey from the Estate, a ‘Stick up for Stanage’ sticker, and a hand-crafted millstone ornament made by Stephen Nicholson of Capital Stone Masonry, Sheffield.
People can obtain ‘Stick up for Stanage’ stickers from the BMC shop
, the Stanage-North Lees campsite or the Outside shop in Hathersage (cash only). They are also available by phoning 01433 650 838 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or emailing this address