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16/11/2020

PM Johnson wants to create more national parks

Words: Laura Edgar
Peak District / Shutterstock_135470024

Boris Johnson has outlined plans to create national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) to protect England’s ‘iconic landscapes’.

The prime minister wants to increase access to nature for communities and better protect the country’s wildlife and biodiversity, including an additional 150,000 hectares of land in England.

This is just one of the new measures announced as part of the government’s 25-year environment plan.

The government explains that following on from the “initial success” of the first round, £40 million of additional investment into the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund will go towards creating and retaining thousands of jobs, which is part of its aims for a green recovery from Covid-19.

In addition, as part of a government ambition to establish a Nature Recovery Network, 10 “Landscape Recovery” projects will be launched across England over the next four years. These are intended to restore peatlands and woodlands, create wilder landscapes, and see the equivalent of over 30,000 football pitches of habitat allocated for wildlife. The projects will be established through the government’s Environmental Land Management scheme.

Johnson said: “As we build back greener we’re taking new steps to expand and enhance our landscapes - creating and retaining thousands of green jobs in the process which will be crucial to my 10 point plan for delivering a green recovery.

“Britain’s iconic landscapes are part of the fabric of our national identity – sustaining our communities, driving local economies and inspiring people across the ages. That’s why with the natural world under threat, it’s more important than ever that we act now to enhance our natural environment and protect our precious wildlife and biodiversity.”

These measures have been announced ahead of Johnson’s 10 point plan, which is set to be published next week. The government has said that it will set out his steps for a green industrial revolution to boost green jobs and to achieve net zero by 2050.

Environment secretary George Eustice commented: “By starting the process for designating more of our beautiful and iconic landscapes as national parks and AONBs, and through the new Landscape Recovery projects, we will help expand and protect precious wildlife habitats and, vitally, increase people’s access to our treasured landscapes.”

Image credit | Shutterstock

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