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18 years of Nurture Lakeland, an extraordinary organisation
As the current Chief Executive of Nurture Lakeland, I was asked to write a few words about these first 18 extraordinary years of Nurture Lakeland. I can’t claim to have been around for all of those 18 years, having taken up the reins just four years ago, in 2008, but in that time I have witnessed the incredible passion, determination and commitment of those founder members, many of whom still sit on the Board of Trustees, as well as the love of all the hundreds of businesses large and small that are involved as members.
18 years ago, I was taking my own first steps into the world of landscape protection working in environmental education at a mountain based outdoor centre, with young people and adults from some of South London’s most deprived boroughs. For those groups a week in the mountains was often a life-changing experience; the fresh air, the tranquillity, the time to reflect, and the sheer grandeur of the scenery, could and did, change people’s lives forever. For me, those were the years, when I finally made the connection myself, to the importance of landscape to people’s lives and wellbeing.
The founders of Nurture Tourism, an organisation born into this world as the Tourism and Conservation Partnership, had the same vision; bring together those who love and value the landscape, with those who care for and manage it, and create a point of mutual benefit and understanding. The inspiration to ask all those who visited the Lake District out of love for its scenery, its culture, and its landscapes, were to be asked to contribute a pound each, and the managers of those landscapes were then going to use those many pounds to ensure the place was kept special and accessible.
And now £2million and over 300 funded projects down the line, I’m very happy to honour those founding fathers vision.