19 Charities call for Government not to undermine National Parks

27 September 2018

An open letter from 19 organisations calls for strong messages from Government to avoid undermining designated landscapes.

The letter which was co-ordinated by Campaign for National Parks and supported by charities including Campaign to Protect Rural England and the National Trust, takes particular issue with the use of a controversial mine to justify further development in areas that are protected for their wildlife, beauty and recreational opportunities.

Click here to read the full letter and see the signatories

Minister for Business and Industry, Richard Harrington MP, used the example of the Woodsmith Mine in the North York Moors National Park while giving evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee over the summer. The coalition of charities is concerned that the Minister’s evidence did not accurately reflect the negative environmental and landscape impacts of inappropriate development, such as the Woodsmith Mine.  

The letter states: “Implying that such development has no negative impacts is particularly disappointing at a time when designated landscapes are getting a lot of positive coverage following the launch of the Glover Review of England’s designated landscapes in May. It is also inconsistent with the messages in the 25 Year Environment Plan, which was launched by the Prime Minister in January.”

The BEIS committee was considering a proposed new planning policy for new nuclear disposal infrastructure and their report concluded that designated landscapes should not be ruled out as possible locations, putting at risk National Parks.

“The positive words about National Parks from the Environment Secretary and the Prime Minister need to be backed up by the actions and decisions of all Government Departments. National Parks currently face a range of threats - from nuclear disposal to road-building - so it is more important than ever that ministers are united in their support for these incredible landscapes” said Ruth Bradshaw of Campaign for National Parks.

Emma Marrington of Campaign to Protect Rural England also commented: “The Government’s commitment to conserve and enhance our most cherished landscapes mark a fantastic moment in history, but we need all Ministers singing from the same hymn sheet.

“All designates landscapes, including National Parks, must continue to receive the highest level of protection if future generations are to have the same opportunities to enjoy their beauty and character as we do”

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