Rural Growth through Sustainable Development

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Sustainable development is a fundamental principle underpinning the work of the National Park Authorities, and a source of much innovation and best practice. National Park Authorities aim to maintain thriving, living landscapes, where natural assets are conserved and enhanced and where businesses and communities can prosper, now and in the future. They work to enable development that benefits people, the environment and the economy simultaneously. Our Vision for National Parks is for them to be places where “sustainable development can be seen in action”.

The thriving rural economies in and around National Parks depend on the high quality natural environment and special qualities of National Parks. Some examples of this are in our briefing Supporting rural communities and economies.

National Parks make a significant contribution to national and local economies, with over £13 of turnover generated and more than 140,000 employed by the 25,000 businesses that call England’s National Parks their home.

National Park Authorities provide apprenticeships, skills training and volunteering opportunities, helping people fulfil their potential and securing a sustainable future for these special places. They help facilitate business developments, expand and better connect markets and establish partnerships to enable entrepreneurs to flourish.

In recent years National Park Authorities have increasingly become seen as innovators, trialing new approaches to policy and practice that deliver genuine sustainable development on the ground.


Valuing England's National Parks - Final Report

Topic Briefing - Supporting rural communities and economies (June 2015)

National Parks - Open for Business (2015)

National Parks National Assets Infographic 2017

Gross Value Added for England's National Parks 2017

Consultation Responses

National Parks England submission to Lords Inquiry into the Rural Economy (Sept 2018)