Young Ranger Award 2020

Six-year-old Avery Hamilton from Bramham, Wetherby, has been presented with first prize in the 2020 Young Ranger Award.

Avery collecting grass on a conservation task

Avery collecting grass on a conservation task

On winning the award, Avery said: “I’m so happy. I love it when I can help the Explorers plant the baby trees to make new homes for the animals.” Avery has been awarded £750 to visit any National Park with her family.

Avery is described by those that know her as an unstoppable force for good and was chosen as the winner thanks to her passion and dedication for conservation both within the North York Moors and elsewhere.

Nominating Avery, her Godfather Ben Grant said:

“Avery talks endlessly about conservation, pretty much to anyone who will listen. She has volunteered to give talks at her school about the subject and has waged a personal war on littering in her local area.”

Michael Graham from the North York Moors National Park Trust said:

“Avery’s passion for volunteering is clear to everyone who meets her. Over her time with the National Park’s Explorer Club she has brought along every member of her family, all of whom have been inspired to work as hard as her for the same cause. Avery also carries that passion into different areas of her life, encouraging her friends at school to care about the environment.”

Scooping second prize and £250 to visit a National Park is 15-year-old Matthew Parker from Ruswarp, near Whitby. As well as being an active member of the North York Moors Young Rangers, Matthew also volunteers with the Explorer Club where he supports and encourages younger children with practical tasks including clearing ditches, bracken bashing and habitat management. Matthew was described by the judges as an excellent role model and ambassador, who approaches all his voluntary work with great energy and enthusiasm.

Also recognised for their commitment to volunteering as Young Rangers are 17-year-old Finlay Brown, from Ingleby Greenhow near Stokesley, and 16-year-old Henry Lealman, from Harome near Helmsley. Each receive Ordnance Survey maps of the North York Moors National Park, along with a compass.

About the Award

The award recognises the best contributions by young people aged 21 or under who have made a meaningful contribution to conservation, improved visitor access or have worked closely with local communities within, or close to, the National Park.

The Young Rangers winner and runner-up will receive prizes of £750 and £250 respectively to put towards travel to a national park of their choice, on the proviso that they share their insight and findings with the Trustees following their visit.

Previous Winners

The 2017 ‘Young Ranger of the year’

Thirteen year-old Zach Haynes from Northallerton scooped the top prize for his exceptional efforts in writing a naturalist blog and photographing the wildlife he finds across the North York Moors and elsewhere. Zach, who has been awarded £750 to put towards a trip to a national park of his choice, also regularly participates in projects such as the Big Garden Birdwatch and counts moth-trapping amongst his favourite hobbies.

A runner-up prize of £250 was awarded to Joey Graham of Darlington, aged just seven years, who has made phenomenal progress over the last six months as a member of the National Park Authority’s Explorer Club.

The awards were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Barry Dodd CBE, at a special event to mark the launch of a new charity that will help secure the future of the North York Moors.

Andy Wilson, Chair of North York Moors National Park Trust said: “Setting up the Trust realises part of a long held ambition to maximise efforts to conserve the landscape and wildlife of the area and help people to enjoy and learn about it.

“A huge part of the Trust’s work is focused on ensuring the North York Moors can be enjoyed for generations to come. It’s therefore imperative that we engage the younger generation in what we do and recognise those individuals who are acting as ambassadors for the National Park in their own communities.”