Team CNP outside Parliament in 2023

The National Park to-do list

Seven things we’re demanding from the next government

Over the last few days, there have been a raft of announcements from parties on National Parks, as they gear up for publishing UK election manifestos. Some sound promising – such as a focus on making National Parks “wilder” or refocusing them as “National Nature Parks, plus some much-needed promises of extra funding. In the coming days, we will be analysing all the manifestos, looking to see what all the parties commit to deliver for our most outstanding landscapes over the next 5 years.

Back in July 2023, we launched our own manifesto “Wilder National Parks For All” to set out the things we want all parties to deliver and have since been discussing with parliamentarians and communities. Earlier this year, to mark the 75th anniversary of National Parks, in partnership with the English National Park Societies, we wrote to party leaders urging them to get behind our manifesto and Save our National Parks. Our Health Check report, published in April, set out the evidence showing the poor health of nature and made recommendations for the next Government to drive recovery. Over this election period, we will be asking all parliamentary candidates, and party leaders, to get behind our Save National Parks manifesto.

Wilder National Parks for All – the next UK Government must:

  1. Secure rapid nature recovery
  2. End water pollution
  3. Enforce the law, ban moorland burning and combat wildlife crime
  4. Open up National Parks to all, extending freedom to roam
  5. A new deal for National Parks, doubling investment in the parks, farming and jobs
  6. Safeguard natural beauty and support thriving communities
  7. Create new Nationals Parks for nature on land and sea

As John Dower said about National Parks in 1945: “There can be few national purposes which, at so modest a cost, offer so large a prospect of health-giving happiness for the people”. This remains true today: despite covering 10% land and a significant proportion of the UK’s most important nature sites, National Parks are granted less than 1% of the Defra budget – and a tiny fraction of the overall Government spend. In the 75th anniversary year, we’re hoping all party leaders remember and recommit to the founding vision, and set out plans to secure nature-rich National Parks for Everyone.

Together, we can get National Parks on the national agenda:

Voters around the country care passionately about National Parks and want to see the political parties commit to an ambitious programme of action to revitalise these landscapes.

Here are five ways that you can stand-up for National Parks at this election:

  1. Sign the Save our National Parks petition
  2. March with us at the Restore Nature Now protest
  3. Ask politicians on the doorstep – what will you do to save National Parks?
  4. Get involved in election hustings
  5. Write to local candidates

Take Action