Opportunity for National Parks to step up to take on some of the biggest challenges facing society - Campaign for National Parks responds to the Glover review

19 December 2018

The Glover review of England’s designated landscapes is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make our National Parks even more beautiful, better protected and more accessible. In its response to the review, submitted yesterday (Tuesday), Campaign for National Parks calls for a raft of changes to transform some of the most beloved areas of the countryside and to better equip them to take on some of the biggest challenges facing society.

Fiona Howie, Chief Executive of Campaign for National Parks said: “The ideas and principles underpinning National Parks have stood the test of time, but these areas must adapt and improve in order to flourish in the 21st century. The National Parks deliver huge benefits for the country but there are still lots of opportunities to make them even better.” 

“Over the last year we’ve been highlighting some of those opportunities. In our research on sustainable transport we highlighted that nearly 25% of households do not have a private car, and that other ways of accessing the Parks were too often unreliable, expensive and infrequent [1]. In our report on nature conservation we argued that the Parks can and must do more for nature and to achieve that action was needed at both the local and national level [2].”

Seven Sisters. Photo credit: South Downs Society

Seven Sisters in the South Downs National Park. Photo credit: South Downs Society.

There are ten National Parks in England covering a range of areas from the beautiful uplands of the Lake District to the rolling countryside of the South Downs. All of these special places face challenges but also have a key role to play in helping address them. Campaign for National Parks wants to make sure the Parks are better equipped to tackle issues such as climate change, loss of wildlife, and the disconnect between people and nature. As well as being able to prevent inappropriate development within their areas and their setting.

Key recommendations from our response:

  • Stronger protections for the National Parks are needed to prevent inappropriate development that undermines their special qualities. This should include improved national and local governance of the authorities.
  • There must be a strong, clear relationship between improved, ambitious management plans, and the priorities for environmental land management within the Parks. This should include the Park Authorities having responsibility for delivering future agri-environment schemes, which must be a key tool in enhancing the National Parks.
  • The Parks were originally created for the nation. More needs to be done to make sure that everyone can access, enjoy and benefit from the Parks. More support for sustainable travel is needed to ensure that more people can visit without placing increased pressure on the environment and local communities in these areas. It is also important that people from all parts of society are encouraged and supported to visit the Parks.

 “The creation of the National Parks is an extraordinary success story that has protected England’s world class countryside and allowed millions of people to enjoy it. But modern pressures are putting this success at threat. Julian Glover’s review must be ambitious in delivering a brighter future for the very best of England’s countryside and we urge him and his panel to consider our recommendations for how we can make the Parks deliver even more for current and future generations” concluded Fiona.

Click here to read our full submission!

[1] See National Parks for all report for further details: https://www.cnp.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploadsfiles/National_Parks_car-free_travel_HIRESDPS.pdf

[2] See Raising the bar report: https://www.cnp.org.uk/news/raising-the-bar