Launched at the start of English Tourism Week, 10-17 March, 'Love Our Land' is a new campaign to inspire both residents and visitors to share what they love about England's National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the High Weald.
In the first 'cultural mapping' project of its kind, people are being encouraged to get involved by posting what they love on Facebook and Twitter - in words, pictures or film - as part of celebrating the much-loved and distinctive features of the landscapes on our doorstep. The project is being run by Our Land, a Government-funded rural development programme.
Artist and conservationist David Shepherd, who lives in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said: "I love where I live because it is green and peaceful and beautiful. It inspires me to paint and helps me relax."
James Berresford, Chief Executive of Visit England, commented: "English Tourism Week shines a light on the quality and diversity of our visitor experiences, so we're thrilled that the "Love Our Land" campaign is launching in tandem. By asking people to nominate what they enjoy most about the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Our Land will create a fantastic tourism tool and we fully support anything that proactively encourages more visitors to get out and about and enjoy our country."
From Friday 9 March people can share what they love about our land on the Our Land Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ourlanduk, or on Twitter using the hashtag #loveourland (@ourlanduk). There will be a monthly poll for Facebook page entries and an annual competition, judged by a panel of experts with prizes for entrants who best encapsulate 'Love Our Land'. Prizes include holidays to the UK's National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An excellent opportunity to share what you love about the High Weald landscape and perhaps win a prize for doing so!
Our Land is a sustainable tourism project which has been launched by the South East's Protected Landscape Units. It is funded in the first three years with nearly £1million from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is being delivered in partnership with leading marketer of responsible tourism: www.responsibletravel.com