New Chief Executive pledges to stop cuts

National Park Authorities in England should be given greater long-term financial security to enable them to conserve and enhance our most precious landscapes, according to the new Chief Executive of the Campaign for National Parks, Fiona Howie.
Ms Howie said she wanted to see the next Westminster Government provide a long-term commitment to funding National Park Authorities properly and an immediate end to their budget cuts.
“National Parks are under enormous threats – not just from substantial cuts to their budget – but also from road building schemes and major infrastructure developments, such as the application in the North York Moors for the world’s largest potash mine.
“We need to concentrate hearts and minds on a sustainable long-term financial model for National Parks to ensure they remain thriving living landscapes that are home to diverse communities in the 21st century.”
Fiona joins CNP having been Head of Planning for five years at the Campaign to Protect  Rural England. She said she was looking forward to meeting key stakeholders in England and Wales, including the Alliance for National Parks Cymru.
“These are also challenging times for National Parks in Wales, where significant changes to their management and governance are currently being considered. We will be submitting evidence to the independent review of designated landscapes, arguing strongly for National Park Authorities to retain their planning powers so they can continue to conserve and enhance these special places for future generations to enjoy,” she added.
Welcoming her, Campaign for National Parks Chairman Anne Robinson said: ‘Fiona has a proven track record as a campaigner and will be able to advocate and champion CNP’s interests at the national level to a wide variety of decision makers. Her experience as an effective fundraiser will also prove invaluable in developing CNP’s fundraising potential.

“CNP needed an inspirational individual to forge and shape the national debate on the future of our national parks at a time when they face pressures like never before. We were searching for a leader to motivate people, someone with passion, enthusiasm, foresight and vision.  We found one in Fiona.”

Notes to Editors:

1 The Campaign for National Parks is the independent national voice for the 13 National Parks in England and Wales. Our mission is to inspire everyone to enjoy and look after National parks – the nation’s green treasures. For nearly 80 years we have been campaigning to ensure that our National Parks are beautiful, inspirational places that are relevant, valued and protected for all and have worked to introduce many thousands of people to them for the first time.