Campaign for National Parks calls for new Landscapes Bill as Government responds to Glover Review

  • Contributor information: CNP

The Government has today released its full response to the Landscapes Review that was published in 2019, following repeated calls from Campaign for National Parks and others to do so. 

Dr Rose O’Neill, Chief Executive of Campaign for National Parks, said: “We are so pleased to finally see the Government’s response to the Landscapes Review – in particular, we welcome proposals for new legal protections that place greater emphasis on nature recovery and will require greater action by all public bodies to enhance our National Parks and AONBs.”

The Landscapes Review, led by Julian Glover and also known as the Glover Review, looked at whether protections for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in England were fit for purpose and explored what might be done better. It outlined a series of recommendations for the Government, many of which followed on from suggestions and evidence put forward by Campaign for National Parks, as outlined in its response to Glover’s call for evidence. 

Rose continued: “We urgently need these to be taken forward with a new Landscapes Bill, included in the next Queen’s Speech. We must not let momentum slide, we need more action, sooner, to halt biodiversity loss, stop destructive developments and to ensure accessible National Parks for all. Today’s announcement is a good first step, but it needs rapid implementation.

“We’ve been waiting over two years to get to this point. The climate crisis has been escalating and is already hitting our National Parks hard, as outlined in our National Parks and the Climate Emergency report, released last year. The millions of people who sought space in our National Parks to pause, breathe and recover during the pandemic, know how important these places are to our nation. Government action to prioritise these wonderful places is urgently needed.

“We welcome proposals for a new landscape strategy and a national landscape service; but this needs to be backed by the resources and remit to champion national landscapes, ensure they are being run effectively and ensure they deliver what’s needed to meet the Government’s own legally-binding net zero and biodiversity targets (introduced following the successful State of Nature campaign). The farmers and land managers that are so important to shaping the culture and the wildlife of our National Parks need enhanced Government support to deliver high nature, low carbon and accessible landscapes.

“We also need stronger commitment to level up access to the nation’s most important natural landscapes, putting them at forefront of efforts to improve health and wellbeing of the entire nation, and our natural world.”

Peak District National Park by Simon Walkden

The Glover team originally undertook work in 2018 ahead of the Review’s publucation in 2019. Campaign for National Parks’ work was used to help inform the Landscapes Review, including:

  • Raising the Bar report, influential with the Glover team and included in the Review, showed the extent of action needed to reverse wildlife declines in National Parks
  • Mosaic exemplar project, which worked with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and with young people, demonstrating meaningful ways to support communities to access National Parks
  • National Parks for All report on improving car-free travel to National Parks makes it clear that far more still needs to be done to ensure that people from all backgrounds can visit the Parks more sustainably

A public consultation into the Government’s response to the Landscapes Review is now open and will close on 9 April 2022, see HERE.

Rose added: “We’ll be delving more deeply into the detail over the coming days and, as the independent voice for all National Parks in England and Wales, we will continue bringing partners together to push for the action needed to protect and improve National Parks.”

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