Telegraph Column: Appreciating the value of curiosity

Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority

Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority

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My first weeks as chief executive of the Peak District National Park have helped me fully appreciate the value of staying curious, writes Sarah Fowler, the Peak District National Park Authority’s new chief executive.

Have you ever wondered why time speeds up as you get older?

The more familiar something is the more quickly you move on. When the world is novel, as it is when you start a new role, you take the time to understand, deeply understand.

There is no blind acceptance of the familiar, instead the why, how, what, where questions flow.

Embracing this has shown me new delights in the Peak District National Park, a place I thought I knew.

For example, did you know that the Peak District National Park has more reservoirs than the Lake District has lakes?

It was also the first National Park designated in the United Kingdom, has around 2,900 listed buildings and 460 scheduled ancient monuments, is nationally important for the number of ash trees and has 26,000 miles of dry stone wall – which is the equivalent to a wall around the Earth.

I know I have so much more to learn and ask about how we can inspire millions of people so together we can protect and care for our National Park for the enjoyment of all.

How powerful it would be if we all added a little more curiosity into our lives. How much more would you notice about the great landscape that surrounds you, and learn about the heritage on your doorstep?

Many people look, but only some people see and question their own perceptions that have built up through familiarity.

Opening our eyes and minds will allow us to tap into our own wellbeing and joy and, just maybe, help us see how we can care a little more about this inspiring place and consider - ‘What could I do to support the work of those who keep it special?’