Helen Skelton takes on big birthday Ben Nevis climb to celebrate The National Lottery's 25th Anniversary
4th November 2019
Today sees the launch of a short film with TV presenter and outdoor enthusiast, Helen Skelton, leading a special expedition to the summit of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, joined by a group of young people from the PEEK Project in Glasgow, to celebrate The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday.
The challenging but exhilarating climb marks the launch of ‘The National Lottery’s Guide to 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures’, released to mark The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday.
The guide includes a wide variety of exciting outdoor activities and locations to visit – all of which The National Lottery has funded over the past 25 years, from rugged coastlines and mountain footpaths to spectacular nature reserves, parks and forests. Ben Nevis is one of the incredible destinations included in the guide, and the chosen pursuit for Helen and the young people to tackle in celebration.
The group reached the summit after 5 hours of walking in very tough conditions. TV presenter Helen said of the activity: “I loved getting out into the great outdoors with an enthusiastic and excited group of young people. It was exhausting – but brilliant.
“National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes and have contributed so much to the UK’s amazing and varied landscapes. “I am a huge supporter of people experiencing the great outdoors for themselves. ‘The National Lottery’s Guide to 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures’ will hopefully inspire people to discover their next adventure.”
Joining Helen on the climb were a group of young people from the PEEK project, based in Glasgow’s East End, which has received over £1million of National Lottery funding. PEEK work to improve the life chances of children and young people across Scotland through a programme of free play and creative learning.
This was an incredible experience for the young people. I’m thrilled that they got a chance to do something so amazing. Funding from The National Lottery players has been crucial to our organization and helped us in our work to improve the lives of children and young people across Scotland.” The expedition was in conjunction with the Nevis Landscape Partnership – an organisation which works to conserve and enhance the incredible landscape of Ben and Glen Nevis, thanks to over £1.9million of funding from The National Lottery. Every year around 160,000 people hike to the summit.
Michaela Collins, Chief Executive of PEEK
“We are delighted to see Ben Nevis included in The National Lottery’s 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures Guide. It’s fantastic to see these young people out enjoying the landscape, giving them a really special experience in nature. With the investment from The National Lottery we’ve been able to completely redevelop our mountain path over the last 5 years, making this experience possible”
Mike Pescod, Chairman of the Nevis Landscape Partnership
Over the last 25 years, The National Lottery has given more than £59 million to all of the organisations featured in the 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures guide.
“Looking after our landscapes and reconnecting people with nature has never been more important. Over the last 25 years, National Lottery funding has had an extraordinary impact on our natural heritage and opened up so many opportunities for people to access the great outdoors. “These 25 places to visit are just the tip of the iceberg – we’ve funded thousands of projects protecting our landscapes, parks and green spaces and helping people enjoy the great outdoors – with all the health and wellbeing benefits they bring. We’re hoping the new guide will encourage more people to find their next adventure, no matter how big or small.”
Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscapes and Nature for The National Lottery Heritage Fund
The National Lottery’s Guide to 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures is available to download from www.nationallotterygreatoutdoors25.co.uk.
Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has had on your community over the past 25 years by visiting www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
and get involved by using hashtag: #NationalLottery25.
Notes to editors
All assets, including the film, photos from the expedition, images of the locations featured in the guide, and stills of the guide, can be found at the following dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7czs2uz38ldw53n/AACM6kwPV0TzreUcchv-mgaTa?dl=0
Pictures, interviews and case studies of people and projects who have benefitted from National Lottery funding are available upon request.
For further information, case studies and images, please contact:
Sarah Myers, National Lottery Promotions Unit
+44 7828 617962
About The National Lottery and its 25th Birthday celebration:
The National Lottery’s Birthday celebrations are running for a six-week period (from 14 October until beginning of December 2019). There are some incredible activities planned across the UK to celebrate the good causes that have been made possible thanks to National Lottery players over the last 25 years.
Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.
The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.
The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes - over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.
Locations featured in the guide
Ben Nevis – (Fort William, Scot)
Hike along iconic trails on the highest mountain in the British Isles
Tame Valley – (Near Birmingham, Eng)
Step up onto the viewing platform to observe the Tame Wetlands wildlife
RSPB Belfast’s Window on Wildlife – (Belfast, NI)
Relax at Belfast’s own wildlife haven, which boasts panoramic views across Belfast Lough
The Glens of Antrim – (Antrim, NI)
Enjoy the rich heritage as you walk amidst the Antrim Glens
Morecambe Bay – (Morecambe, Eng)
Experience Morecambe’s spectacular coastline from its 81-mile Bay Cycle Way
Windermere Jetty Museum – (Windermere, Eng)
Book a unique heritage boat trip at the lakeshore Windermere Jetty Museum
Hainault Park – (Hainault, Eng)
Search for insects and other wildlife in the ancient Hainault Forest
Peak District – (East Midlands, Eng)
Escape amongst the famed trails of the Peak District
RSPB Rainham Marshes – (Havering, Eng)
Watch nesting lapwing and wintering flocks of birds on these ancient marshes
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park – (Loch Lomond, Scot)
Go mountain biking, hiking or wild camping on the hills and glens of the Trossachs
Elan Valley – (Rhayader, Wales)
Cycle along the spectacular Elan Valley Trail
RSPB Bempton Cliffs – (Bempton, Eng)
See half a million seabirds, including puffins, on spectacular coastal chalk cliffs
RSPB Minsmere – (Saxmundham, Eng)
Explore woods, coast and wetlands in search of an incredible variety of wildlife
Isle of Wight – (Isle of Wight, Eng)
Explore the stunning landscapes of England’s largest offshore island
Northumberland Coast – (North West, Eng)
Lap up the sea breeze on the lively promenades of Northumberland’s coastline
Carneddau, Snowdonia – (Snowdonia, Wales)
Hike, bike and explore in Carneddau, Snowdonia
Great Fen – (Cambridgeshire, Eng)
Explore the developing wetlands of the Great Fen
RSPB Sandwell Valley – (West Bromwich, Eng)
Relax and discover wildlife while exploring woodlands, wildflower meadows, lakes and ponds
Hillsborough Castle & Gardens – (Hillsborough, NI)
Spend some time in Hillsborough Castle and explore 100 acres of stunning gardens
Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House Museum – (Tynemouth, Eng)
Discover maritime artefacts from the world’s first volunteer life brigade
Brede High Woods – (High Weald, Eng)
Become immersed in the ancient woodland of Brede High Woods in Sussex
Fell Foot – (Windermere, Eng)
This family-friendly park on Windermere’s lakeshore is perfect for picnics, walking and boating
RSPB Forsinard Flows – (Sutherland, Scot)
Get away from it all in this amazing, rugged peatland landscape
RSPB Arne – (Wareham, Eng)
Discover this rare, iconic heathland landscape on the Arne Peninsula in Poole Harbour
Fingle Wood – (Exeter, Eng)
Amble through 825 acres of woodland located on the fringes of Dartmoor National Park