The National Parks movement speaks with one voice – we need to protect and strengthen our Protected Landscapes

  • Contributor information: CNP

An alliance of National Park societies and campaigning organisations, including Campaign for National Parks, have come together to sign a joint declaration, calling on governments in England and Wales to give Protected Landscapes (National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) their full backing in legislation. The statement was agreed at the National Park Societies Conference hosted by Cymdeithas Eryri / Snowdonia Society.

Recognising the scale of the nature and climate emergency, the National Parks movement are united in their call for Protected Landscapes in England and Wales to be given new purposes and powers that will allow them to thrive for the future.

Commenting on the declaration, Dr Rose O’Neill, Chief Executive of Campaign for National Parks said:

“It’s fantastic to see the National Parks movement in England and Wales come together to make a powerful, positive case for why these landscapes matter. National Parks can play an exciting and important role for nature recovery, combatting climate change, supporting local economies and boosting people’s wellbeing, if properly backed by the right policies and legislation. Unfortunately the signals we are getting from the UK Government in Westminster suggests they are heading in the wrong direction, while at the same time in Wales we are seeing huge ambition with a new National Park as an exemplar for climate action and nature recovery.”

“This joint declaration sends a powerful message that the National Parks movement should be listened to closely by the UK government. The organisations that have signed today’s statement represent a broad and energised section of the population in England and Wales who care deeply about these landscapes and want to see politicians and policymakers setting out firm commitments to protect and support them. Any government who is seen to be undermining these aspirations risks suffering a political price at the next election.”

Declaration from the National Parks Movement:

At a time of nature and climate emergency, we must retain and strengthen the laws and policies which protect the Protected Landscapes of Wales and England. This means there must be:

  • No weakening, or removal, of vital European legislation such as the Habitats Regulations;
  • Effective schemes of support for farmers and land managers which safeguard rural livelihoods, reinforce nature’s recovery, and promote public access; and
  • A principle of safeguarding the additional planning protections which are crucial for Protected Landscapes.

We need to and will strongly support governments’ commitments to new purposes, duties and powers to ensure that Protected Landscapes can deliver more for nature, climate and people in future.

This statement is signed by the following organisations:

Campaign for National Parks
The Broads Society
Cymdeithas Eryri / Snowdonia Society
Dartmoor Preservation Association
The Exmoor Society
Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Friends of the Brecon Beacons
Friends of the Dales
Friends of the Lake District
Friends of the New Forest
Friends of the Peak District
Friends of the South Downs
North Yorkshire Moors Association

How you can join the National Parks Movement

Now is the time to stand up for nature and the future of our National Parks – and we want your support!

Campaign for National Parks is campaigning for strengthening the laws and policies that protect what we have and accelerate nature recovery. It is crucial that we do both: in a climate and nature emergency, we cannot afford to standstill or to go backwards. The stakes are too high.

Find out more about this work here.