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Consultation opens on national parks review

Words: Laura Edgar
South Downs National Park / iStock_000014868712

Environment secretary Michael Gove and writer Julian Glover have called for evidence to support the review of national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

The public will be able to comment on whether housing and transport in protected landscapes could be improved, the role these play in the UK’s cultural cultural heritage, and how such iconic areas can boost habitats for wildlife.

The review is considering whether such areas meet the nation’s needs in the 21st century and whether there is scope for the network to expand, as well how to boost wildlife, support the recovery of natural habitats, and connect more people with nature.

Glover, who is leading the review, said that he had already seen pressures in national parks and AONBs.

“Local people need jobs and housing, farmers who look after the landscapes need help to survive, and biodiversity is under threat as the numbers of things such as birds and butterflies decline.

“The good news is that I know we can do better – and in this review we are hearing lots of ideas about how to do it. Now we’re offering a chance for everyone who loves our national parks and AONBs to have a say.”

The review forms part of the government’s 25-year environment plan, which was launched in January 2018.

Sir Arthur Hobhouse’s report in 1947 bought about the creation of England’s network of designated landscapes, and the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was passed in 1949. There are 10 national parks in England and 34 AONBs.

More information can be found here.

Image credit | iStock