Just one aspect of representing this wonderful part of North Yorkshire is that parts of my patch cover not one but two of the UK’s National Parks.

With the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the west and the North York Moors National Park to the east we are blessed to be so close to these two nationally-important landscapes. Of course, many of you are lucky enough to live in them.

For my family, the Moors park really is on the doorstep with the boundary being less than ten minutes away from home. The area around Osmotherley, Square Corner, and Black Hambleton is a favourite spot for our family walks. It is the best way to unwind after a busy week in Westminster.

This year has been a very important one for the North York Moors – 2022 is the 70th anniversary of its formation. It became a national park on November 28, 1952.

I was fortunate to be in the park just a couple of days before the anniversary date, meeting the park’s chief executive, Tom Hind, its chair Jim Bailey, the park’s national trails officer Malcolm Hodgson and a group of the park’s volunteers and apprentices.

We got together at Lord Stones Country Park which is a great place to stop, to grab something to eat in the café there and to use as a base for exploring a part of the park which has fantastic views of the Cleveland plain, Teesside and its estuary.

The volunteers were enthusiastic about their work which ranges from helping the full-time park rangers with maintaining footpaths and gates, conservation management of habitat, tree planting and much more. Amazingly, there are more than 600 volunteers making some form of contribution around the park.

They come from all walks of life. While many are retired, I was delighted to meet young people who had fallen in love with the park and who found volunteering a great way to spend more time in the landscape they enjoy so much.

All enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new friends, keep fit and make a difference at the same time.

I met the volunteers on that part of the Cleveland Way which also forms a short section of the Coast to Coast Walk – the famous long-distance trail which is to become one of the UK National Trails following my successful campaign for trail designation.

Tom Hind is looking forward to his team, led by Malcolm, working on the upgrading of the walk to National Trail status. It will be an important contribution to the park’s objectives – enshrined in its new management plan as Tom pointed out to me – of encouraging more visitors to enjoy the landscape in a sustainable way that also boosts the local economy.

The value of our national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty has never been more important after the nation’s experience of the Covid-19 pandemic. Extending our UK National Trail network through designation of the Coast to Coast walk will help more people enjoy the Moors – and the Dales – in the most environmentally-friendly way – on foot.

Rishi Sunak is MP for Richmond, and Prime Minister