Love Your National Parks celebration launched

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- celebrating National Parks which bring us health, wealth and happiness

Today (Monday 10 June 2013) marks the launch of a new ‘Love Your National Parks’ celebration which aims to increase people’s understanding of what the National Parks have to offer, and to give a boost to their economic value. The initiative is led by National Parks England with support from Defra and a range of partners.

Chair of National Parks England and Exmoor National Park Authority, John Dyke said:

“England’s National Parks are known for being superb landscapes, rich in heritage and wildlife, but they are also valuable generators of wealth and economic activity. In these difficult economic times it is important that we do what we can to enhance the contribution they can make based on their very special qualities. Love Your National Parks provides an opportunity for people and organisations to do just that by celebrating the wonderful opportunities they provide.”

Minister for the Environment, Richard Benyon MP, whilst visiting Northumberland National Park said:

“Our national parks are some of the most treasured places across the country with ninety million visitors every year. National parks play a key role in rural economic growth, as they are home to thousands of businesses and provide benefits to local communities. I fully support this great campaign and hope it encourages people to visit, enjoy and love our national parks”

There will be lots of exciting activities for everyone to take part in, during National Parks Week - 29 July – 4 August 2013.

The celebration will involve a range of events in England’s ten National Parks, as well as national announcements about how National Park Authorities are working with partners. The celebration highlights:

  • 90% of people in England say National Parks are important to them [1].
  • 96% of people in England say they want every child to experience a National Park first hand [1].
  • A third of all spending on rural tourism in England is within National Parks and their neighbouring towns and villages [2]. and
  • This expenditure is estimated to support some 68,000 full time equivalent jobs [2].

Notes

National Parks England exists to support policy and practice by coordinating the views of the ten English National Park Authorities (NPAs). It does this by:

  • Providing a collective voice for the views of the English NPAs
  • Raising the profile of the work of the authorities to policy makers, Parliamentarians and other decision makers
  • Facilitating discussion amongst NPAs on issues of common concern
  • Supporting the development and capacity of the NPAs to effect change
  • Working in partnership with other bodies where this adds value

1. Data from UK National Parks Awareness Survey 2012, commissioned by UK Association of National Park Authorities.

2. Data from ‘Valuing England’s National Parks’ report (May 2013) by Cumulus Consultants and ICF GHK.