Duo swap Northumberland for the Netherlands

Michael Kay and Laurence Reeves add the 'Northumberland Coast AONB' board to the board-walk constructed by camp participants.
Michael Kay and Laurence Reeves add the 'Northumberland Coast AONB' board to the board-walk constructed by camp participants.

TWO teenagers are back home after representing the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty at a Junior Ranger Camp in the Netherlands.

They got the chance to find out about protected areas, such as the high mountains of the Pyrenees and the coast of Estonia, from the other participants.

They were also able to explore parts of Holland such as Schiermonnikoog and Drents-Friese Wold National Parks, as well Weerribben-Wieden National Park where the camp was based.

Young Rangers Laurence Reeves, from Dunstan, and Michael Kay, from Lesbury, both 17, spent their time exploring the parks by foot, bicycle and canoe, while also learning about habitats and management.

Laurence enjoyed his time at Schiermonnikoog.

He said: “The whole island is a national park, it reminded me of a larger version of Holy Island.

“I think some lessons for the future management of Holy Island could be learned from Schiermonnikoog, espcially how to deal with visitors’ cars and providing for cycling.”

Michael said: “I particularly enjoyed talking to the other participants about their protected areas. Even though they were all very different, one common issue came out as impacting on the beauty of these places and that was litter.

“We all agreed that as young people we should try to do something about the increasing amounts of litter in our landscapes.”

Iain Robson, assistant AONB officer who accompanied the two on their trip, said: “It was a great experience for the Young Rangers and they have learned a lot about how other Young Rangers programmes work. They will have the opportunity to present their findings to our Young Rangers and to the AONB Partnership.”