Park Protector Awards

Nominations and voting has now closed for the Park Protector Awards 2022. You can find out who was shortlisted here and who won here. Big thank you to everyone who nominated and voted.

More people than ever are turning to National Parks to boost their wellbeing, while the landscape depends on us to keep it healthy.  

National Parks are facing huge challenges, from the impact of the climate crisis to over a decade of funding cuts, making it harder to cope with record visitor numbers. 

Park protectors ensure the landscape is cared for and more people can enjoy National Parks sustainably: from projects that help nature recover to grass-roots groups improving community access to National Parks, and volunteers helping people to visit responsibly.  

We want to recognise and reward these efforts with the Park Protector Awards.  

Park Protector Awards 2022

Campaign for National Parks has once again teamed up with BBC Countryfile Magazine for the Park Protector Awards 2022.

The awards recognise the efforts of staff and volunteers working in National Parks in England and Wales over the past year or so.

The theme this year is People, Nature and Climate with a new category added, inspired by our National Parks: New Perspectives bursaries.

  • People - to recognise volunteers, lifetime achievements and pioneers for our National Park movement  
  • Nature - to recognise nature recovery projects, Rewilding project connecting nature to health and wellbeing, particularly after the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic  
  • Climate – recognising people and projects in connection with climate mitigation, addressing climate change, partnership working etc.

The categories are:

  • Main Park Protector Award (sponsored by WWF-UK

The main award which recognises the person, team or project that has helped deliver more for people, nature and climate in National Parks. It could be a farmer, a visitor centre team or a ground-breaking nature recovery project. The category is broad by design; as long as it meets the criteria below, we want to hear about it!

The winner – to be decided by an expert judging panel – will receive a £1,000 prize.

Returning for a second year is the Volunteer of the Year category, which will be decided by a public vote from 24-30 June 2022. This is about recognising the vital contribution that volunteers make to our National Parks – from conservation work to helping visitors navigate National Parks, and litter picking to the behind-the-scenes work that keeps things running smoothly.

The winner will receive a £500 voucher for an Original Cottages holiday let and a one-year subscription to BBC Countryfile Magazine.

Following on from the recent launch of our National Parks: New Perspectives bursaries, we are including a New Perspectives award as part of this year's Park Protector Awards. The new category celebrates the outstanding work underway – people, projects or campaigns – that support and amplify the perspectives of those groups who are least heard.

The winner – to be decided by an expert judging panel – will receive a £1,000 prize.

Criteria for all categories:   

  • Work needs to take place in or directly benefit a National Park in England or Wales
  • It should be a recent contribution – between end of 2020 and beginning of 2022  
  • Nominations must be received between 19 May and 19 June 2022, and winners will be announced at a parliamentary reception on 11 July 2022
  • All nominations must be made via our online form (please note that the form cannot be saved halfway through submitting, so you may want to have all the necessary information and photos on hand before completing the form – or you can add to it by email, as mentioned above, before the deadline)
  • Please submit photos with your application if you can (see guidance)

A public vote for the Volunteer of the Year will take place from 24-30 June 2022. Vote for your chosen Volunteer of the Year here.

The other categories will be decided by a judging panel comprising: our Trustee Sue Beaumont; our young ambassador and last year's Volunteer of the Year finalist Jessica Davison; Chair of National Parks England Andrew McCloy and scientist and TV presenter Dr Anjana Khatwa. 

The winners will be revealed at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament on 11 July 2022.

Dr Rose O'Neill, Chief Executive of Campaign for National Parks, said: "We're very pleased to be launching our Park Protector Awards 2022, which recognise and reward the incredible work to ensure National Parks deliver more for people, nature and climate. The past few years have not been easy, but dedicated staff and volunteers have continued to step up to protect and improve National Parks; we feel it's really important to recognise and reward that. 

"That's why we've teamed up with more organisations to grow our awards – adding another new category, the New Perspectives Award, and more prizes – and we will be returning to the Houses of Parliament in London for the awards ceremony. We want to show politicians the brilliant work in National Parks and the amazing people behind it, and why it's crucial that both the Westminster and the Welsh Governments invest more to support these vital assets."

original cottages

Find out who won the 2021 Park Protector Awards here.