Runners and walkers are invited to celebrate the Peak District’s 70th birthday in a virtual fundraising challenge to look after some of the National Park’s most iconic birds.

Run for the Birds is being organised by Peak Running in partnership with the Peak District National Park Foundation.

Starting on the National Park’s birthday on 17th April, people are invited to run, hike or stroll over the course of 70 days until 25th June – choosing the distance that is right for them. A proportion of each entry fee will be donated to the Foundation.

Money raised by this fun virtual event will help the Peak District National Park Foundation to fund woodland restructuring and tree planting on the Stanage North Lees estate. This will boost feeding and breeding opportunities for woodland birds such as the Tree Pipit, Redstart and Pied Flycatcher as well as foraging and feeding opportunities for the Ring Ouzel, which nests at Stanage Edge.

Peak Running is a small, Derbyshire based, enterprise which helps people to achieve their goals through improving their fitness, learning new skills and adventuring out into the great outdoors in a safe and responsible way.

Andy Brooks of Peak Running said: “Key to our ethos is ensuring we have a positive impact on the beautiful places that we operate in – especially our favourite local playground, the Peak District National Park.  This involves, amongst other things, getting runners involved in conservation work and raising funds for such work through our events.

“I’m therefore very excited about Run for the Birds. Given that normal life is still restricted by the pandemic, I think it’s the perfect way for us to mark the Peak District’s 70th Birthday.

“Not only will it provide a great incentive for people to get active and improve their fitness, they’ll be doing so in the knowledge that every kilometre they run, or walk, will help preserve the beauty of the National Park, and enable rare bird species to thrive within it.”

Foundation manager Sarah Slowther added: “We’re delighted to be working with Peak Running on #runforthebirds to celebrate 70 years of the Peak District National Park.

“The last 12 months have been really challenging and, during the Covid-19 crisis, many of us have looked to the National Park and nature for our own wellbeing and recovery. It’s important to remember that nature needs us, too.

“Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and we all have more motivation to get outside. This challenge allows us all to improve our fitness and wellbeing and support our lovely National Park.”

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