The walkers on Helvellyn's summit

The walkers on Helvellyn's summit

A dozen walkers rounded off National Parks Week with a sponsored walk up England’s third highest mountain.

The group, from ethnic minority communities, tackled Striding Edge to top out on Helvellyn on Saturday, and raised £400 for charity.

The summit walk was organised by Campaign for National Parks community champion Aisha Mirza, one of 185 recruited by the charity to encourage more people into England’s national parks as part of the Mosaic project.

She said: “I have always had a real thirst for the stunning beauty of the national parks but family commitments hadn’t allowed me the time to enjoy them over the years.

“However, Mosaic has reopened the doors to my childhood, reawakening memories and reinvigorating my soul that I now can actively share my passion for the national parks with people of my community.”

Londoner Malaz Elsaddig, another of the walkers who has been encouraging other people to get into national parks said: “This has been a great weekend. The climb was challenging but the views were fabulous.

“It’s reminded me of why I want to encourage more people to experience for themselves all the great things that national parks have to offer; there really is something for everyone.”

The group then took part in a gathering in Ambleside and attended the Community Spirit Cumbria event, which included music, dance, traditional crafts and Asian cuisine.

Community champions have introduced more than 6,000 new people to the benefits of national parks. The Mosaic project is funded by Natural England through Access to Nature, as a part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme, with match funding from Nationwide Building Society.

Nina Arwitz, Mosaic programme manager said: “It is very fitting in our 75th anniversary year, that we are developing the national park pioneers of the future, and helping to make sure that a cross-section of British society continues to care for these most spectacular landscapes.”

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