“Strengthening” our national parks and AONBs

New government proposals: “Nature, climate, people and places prioritised in the Government’s response to Julian Glover’s Landscapes Review”

“It won’t be enough just to try to conserve what we have inherited – we can change the story from decline to recovery, to make them greener, more welcoming and full of hope.”

.

We live in one of “the world’s most beautiful places”:

Jurassic Coast – Ladram Bay – geograph.org.uk – 638933.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

3. Jurassic Coast, U.K.: Stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, this 95-mile stretch of coastline is a World Heritage Site with stunning views across the English Channel. “Along the stretch of coast, you’ll find stack rocks, pinnacles and arches, including one of England’s most iconic landmarks, Durdle Door,” says Kuoni.

Ranked: The World’s 15 Most Beautiful Places (A Scientific Study)

There has been a lot of discussion around the creation of a new national park for the same area:

A national park for East Devon and Dorset? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

This won’t now happen – as reported last summer:

Hopes of a creating a National Park in Dorset have been dashed after the county was left out of a Government announcement.

Announcing proposals to ‘create and improve protected landscapes across England’, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the Yorkshire Wolds and Cheshire Sandstone Ridge will be considered for status as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well as extensions to the existing Surrey Hills and Chilterns protected areas. The proposals follow an independent review led by writer Julian Glover who had recognised Dorset’s outstanding case for National Park status and considered it as a strong candidate along with the Cotswolds and the Chilterns. The proposed park for Dorset would have covered the whole of the current Dorset and East Devon AONBs, as well as Purbeck and Egdon Heath.

Dorset will NOT become a National Park after Government rejects proposal | Bridport and Lyme Regis News

Nevertheless, the government has followed up on most of Glover’s recommendations – with this report out today, together with the start of a 12-week consultation:

Nature, climate, people and places prioritised in the Government’s response to Julian Glover’s Landscapes Review

Ambitious proposals to strengthen our protected landscapes announced – GOV.UK

As reported by the BBC earlier, it’s about driving nature recovery and supporting local communities:

The Landscapes Review looked at whether the existing protections were still fit for purpose. The review’s author, Julian Glover, said: “It won’t be enough just to try to conserve what we have inherited – we can change the story from decline to recovery, to make them greener, more welcoming and full of hope.”

Plans to protect England’s national parks set out – BBC News

Fears had been expressed last summer about how the government would take

Any proposals to remove local responsibility for Dartmoor and Exmoor will be strongly opposed in Devon, the leader of the county council has declared. Cllr John Hart, Devon County Council’s leader, has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustace, and Devon’s MPs urging them to keep the management local.

Devon leaders “strongly oppose” potential plans for Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks | News – Greatest Hits Radio (Plymouth)

However, as reported in today’s Devon Live, the proposals have generally been well-received:

Dr Kevin Bishop, chief executive of the Dartmoor National Park Authority, whose elected and co-opted members currently run the park, had last night yet to see the detail of the proposals. But he said he hoped the Government would address three key areas – bringing an end to austerity with adequate and sustained financial investment in national parks; recognising the role national parks and AONBs are playing in climate, ecology and public health and providing the parks with the tools and support to do even more in these areas...

The RSPB’s director of England, Emma Marsh, said: “It’s good to see a headline commitment to give England’s protected landscapes a stronger focus on recovering nature and to make other changes so they can deliver this. But the Government will need to go further and faster, and bring forward legislation to achieve these changes. It must also give these landscapes the resources they need, including doubling AONBs’ woefully inadequate funding. We’ve waited more than two years for a response that still does not have a clear timetable with commitments to bold action.” …

Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks set for major shake-up – Devon Live

   
© Vision Group for Sidmouth 2005-2022