Interview With Mosaic

“For every person who goes to a National Park. There’s plenty who don’t know that it’s free, how to get there, what to do when you’re in there- there’s a bit of mystery about the countryside that we wanted to eliminate.”

Tasnim Niaz (Left) Explores the National Parks for Mosaic

So speaks Tasnim Niaz, who as a centre manager of Middlesbrough’s International Centre and champion of Mosaic, a group dedicated to helping minority groups backed by the Sustainable Development Fund decided to visit and write about the UK’s national parks for a free leaflet which can be found online and in tourist information areas of the National parks of Lake District, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Along with Azram Rafiq, Hamida Saleem and Naseem Mahmoud, Tasnim wanted to write something clear and concise to help express the key points from the vast radius of these areas.

Although from an ethnic background, Tasnim stressed that as 4 women from the community she wasn’t particularly targeting ethnic minorities, although statistics have show that less than 1% of outdoor users are have an ethnic background.

“We are four women from the community who want to show everyone how easy it is to get out. If we can explore and express how breathtaking some of these places are, maybe we will encourage others to do the same.”

Tasnim is very passionate about the outdoors, and her love of the National Parks is evident, as having been a community manager and a champion for mosaic for 10 years, she is often taking residents to the parks.

I asked her what the restrictions where to people getting out into the National Parks, and she was keen to stress it wasn’t just a race issue- it was a community problem where people aren’t sure how or why to go there.

“Living in Middlesborough you find it’s not just ethnic minorities but the white members of the community who are also unaware of what’s there.

You get comments like ‘isn’t it just for ‘posh people?’ or ‘what is it?’ People see these big signs saying ‘National Park’ but they aren’t sure if it is literally a big park, what it costs- and the problem is there isn’t usually anyone on the gate to ask. They don’t want to feel out of place either asking, or going in.”

I asked Tasnim what she would want people to take away from the Mosaic project and the booklet they have launched. She explained that it’s the why and the how of the National Parks, why they should go there, and how they should get there.

“We want people to know that you can get buses that go into the park and that all National Parks are not just about walking around aimlessly. We really want people to see it’s more than walking. You can go hand gliding, canoeing, climbing , boating, you can go to coffee shops, caverns, walk around gardens and visitor centres, you can look at little shops, museums, castles, fortes, old temples and abbeys.. There’s plenty for you to do in all sorts of weather conditions.”

The other part of the booklet is to make sure that people understand how easy it is to get out visiting all the parks.

“If you’re in one park, like the North York Moors you’re close to the Dales and only 1 and half or 2 hours from other parks. It’s about connecting people to what’s near them, making them aware of the transport routes and helping them make the effort to go out there.” If you would like to read more and download a brochure, then please use the link.

Have you felt intimidated by the outdoors? What else could be done?



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