Google celebrates Peak District National Park’s birthday

The 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park Authority is being celebrated by internet giant Google today.

Everyone who logs on to the Google homepage will see a special picture marking the celebration.

The colourful Google Doodle is dominated by a sun rising behind one of the area’s unusually shaped gritstone tors, the Salt Cellar, formed by wind, rain and frost erosion over many centuries – the sun replacing the second ‘o’ in the word Google. To the right of the scene depicting the area’s rolling landscape, two distant walkers are beginning a climb.

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Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority said: “I’m really excited that Google has chosen to reflect the Peak District National Park on their home page.

“The Doodle has become an institution since Google’s founders began to change the famous Google logo to reflect different stories.

“As the world now increasingly uses the Google search engine to go about its business, being selected to be a Doodle is very prestigious.

“Across the world only a very few national parks have featured, including Yosemite on its birthday and Mount Fuji when it achieved World Heritage Status.

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“As we celebrate the achievements of the past 63 years we can look forward to a future in which we remain at the forefront of what national parks are about, being renowned as an innovator and a very successful organisation.”

It has also been announced today that the Peak District is to become the first UK national park to offer visitors a 360 degree view of its rolling hills.

The national park is using Google Trekker equipment to be the first in the country to capture its iconic and diverse landscapes on Google Street View.

It means the protected landscape of the Peak District will be available online for all to enjoy from home, work or while on the move.

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Mr Dixon added: “It is amazing to think that thanks to technology that many more people will be able to enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of the Peak District.

“The Google Trekker will help bring the Peak District to life online and hopefully inspire families to come and enjoy a walk or a cycle ride in the most beautiful landscapes.”

Emily Clarke, from Google, said: “We’re excited that the Peak District will be using the Google Trekker so more of us can experience its famous trails and views from wherever we are.”

Among the locations to be captured are the Derwent Valley, where the Dambusters practised their daring raid during the Second World War, and the panoramic views at Stanage Edge where Kiera Knightley daydreamed of Mr Darcy in the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice.