Ambitious proposals in “biggest shakeup” – findings of the Glover review renew vision for National Parks

Major changes to the running of National Parks have been proposed today [Saturday 21 September] in an independent review of England’s designated landscapes led by Julian Glover. Campaign for National Parks, the only national charity that campaigns to protect, enhance and promote the parks, has been urging a step-change and has welcomed the ambitious agenda set out in the report.

The Review contains 27 proposals including:

·         Support for three new National Parks in the Cotswolds, Dorset and Chilterns.

·         The creation of a National Landscape Service and 1000 new rangers.

·         Giving every school child the opportunity to experience the National Parks for themselves.

·         Strengthened protections, a stronger focus on nature conservation and outreach to BAME communities.

Chief Executive, Corinne Pluchino said: “This is an exciting moment for the National Parks where so much has been achieved and it is essential that we do not lose the momentum that has been created by the review. It’s absolutely right to point out the many challenges facing the Parks and to consider how we can renew and refocus their role to meet the needs of the nation today, both as a source of beauty and tranquillity and as places rich in wildlife and natural resources that can also help to address the challenges of climate change. We look forward to studying the report in detail.”

Campaign for National Park's Andrew Hall spent the morning discussing the reccomendations of the Review with Julian Glover for BBC News. credit: BBC Breakfast

The review calls for three new National Parks in the Chilterns, the Cotswolds and Dorset.

Corinne commented: “We are delighted that the Glover Review believes that new National Parks can still make a valuable contribution to the nation. However, we believe it is essential that additional resources are made available to fund any new Parks, and that the finances needed to sustain and enhance the existing Parks are not reduced as a result. Our National Parks have to be properly resourced to do their job and supported by our politicians.”

Campaign for National Parks has broadly welcomed the ambition of the review which includes several recommendations made by the charity, including a new service to champion designated landscapes at national level. The proposed National Landscapes Service has the potential to fulfil this role as well as providing strategic direction on issues such as restoring nature and responding to climate change, but only if the Service is given appropriate resources and powers. The National Parks are ideally placed to make a major contribution to capturing carbon through healthy natural habitats such as peatlands.

The Glover Review has also recommended that all children will have the chance to spend “a night under the stars” in a National Park. Campaign for National Parks has previously called for children to be given more opportunities to visit the Parks, and earlier this year led a campaign to give all children the opportunity to visit the National Parks. This was supported by a number of well-known names including its Patron, Caroline Quentin, naturalists Liz Bonin and Gordon Buchanan, Bill Bryson, Emma Bridgewater, Sir Andrew Motion and Carol Vorderman.

 

Janette Ward, Chair of Campaign for National Parks, said: “We are delighted our campaign to give every school child a chance to experience the extraordinary National Parks for themselves is being recommended today. To sit beneath the starry skies, hear the calls of owls and breathe fresh air is a life changing and enriching experience. We are so glad Julian and his team share this view.”

However, the charity warns that the Glover review is only a first step and that the real work begins here.

Corinne added: “This has the potential to be a step-change for our National Parks but this is only the beginning. We will now be closely examining the detail of the proposals and will be working to ensure that the momentum is maintained by the Government in its response. We would urge the Government to use this as a springboard, to take this opportunity to deliver real leadership on countryside issues.”

The Review comes in a historic year for Campaign for National Parks, being the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Act of Parliament that created the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Campaign for National Parks has been pushing for a renewal of the original vision for the National Parks, the campaign for which the charity led in the 1930s and 40s, to ensure they are fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Ends

Notes to Editors

For further details go to: www.cnp.org.uk

Andrew Hall: 0207 981 0891, 07394388645 or email andrew@cnp.org.uk