There’s so much to love about National Parks, but let’s make them even more beautiful for the future.
National Parks truly are amazing places – they contain some of our most treasured landscapes, vibrant communities and opportunities for exploration. They are the jewels in the crown of the British countryside and deserve to be protected for future generations to be able to enjoy them.
But Campaign for National Parks also wants to seek to make the Parks even better. As our president, Caroline Quentin said, ‘we must not pickle National Parks in aspic’. That’s why we’re working to make sure that National Parks are the most beautiful and magnificent places they can possibly be.
What are we doing to make the Parks more beautiful?
In 2016 we ran the Big Conversation about National Parks, an online survey to find out what people thought would improve the Parks. We were absolutely delighted that nearly 10,000 people shared their views with us – and it was encouraging to hear how many people love and cherish the Parks. However, one of the main areas that people wanted to see improved was better conservation of wildlife in our National Parks.
As the latest State of Nature report highlights, of 8,000 species surveyed, 15% are extinct or threatened with extinction. It is absolutely crucial that National Parks, as swathes of land with the highest level of protection, are the bastion of the most biodiverse and wildlife rich environments we have in England and Wales. We’re working with our partner organisations to consider how we can make sure our National Parks are home to even more biodiversity in the future.
The red squirrel is facing major decline in the UK (c) YDNPA
We’re also working on the best ways to support farmers and land managers in the upland areas of our National Parks, so the important role of our uplands in terms of carbon sequestration, water quality and biodiversity are better recognised.
The views and landscapes in National Parks should not ruined by eyesores such as pylons. After years of campaigning we were extremely pleased that in 2012 Ofgem agreed a £500 million allowance to be used to reduce the visual impact of pylons and powerlines in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project was then created by National Grid to look to sue this allowance in England and Wales. We’re still working hard on this – we’re part of a Stakeholder Advisory Group which is working with National Grid to agree priorities for the removal of transmission lines from some of our designated landscapes.
This doesn’t mean that National Park are always safe from pylons though – find out about our work on pylon free views in the Lake District.
The high quality environment in National Parks makes them attractive places to live. However National Parks are working and living landscapes, and the housing provision must reflect this. We want to see affordable housing that meets local needs and high quality building which in fitting with local character. Find out more here.