New Chair for National Parks England

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New Chair for National Parks England sees big opportunities ahead

The Chairs of the ten National Parks across England have elected Carl Lis OBE as the new Chair of National Parks England. Carl is also Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, a position he has held since 2016 as well as 2004-2008 and 2009-2012. He replaces Margaret Paren OBE, who was Chair of National Parks England from June 2016-October 2019. She continues to be Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority.

National Parks England is the umbrella organisation that brings together the nine English National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority. It exists to support policy and practice by providing a collective voice for the views of the English National Park Authorities, raising the profile of their work, facilitating discussion on issues of common concern, and working in partnership with other bodies. 

On his appointment Carl said: “I am immensely proud of the work that the National Park Authorities do, both in my home, the Yorkshire Dales, and across the country. We are a strong network responsible for caring for these extraordinary places and providing opportunities for all in society to enjoy them.

“With the major challenges faced by society, from climate change and nature recovery, to the future of farming and sustaining health and well-being, our National Parks have a vital role to play. The expertise to be found in our National Parks is palpable. As I look ahead, there are undoubtedly challenges but I believe they are dwarfed by the many opportunities.  

“During 2019, we celebrate 70 years since the legislation that created National Parks was passed. Looking to the future, they are increasingly relevant and ambitious. We want to see our National Parks protected and enhanced, with a strong connection by everyone to value and care for these inspiring landscapes. And with a General Election around the corner, National Parks England looks forward to working with Ministers to ensure this happens.  

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the work of my predecessor as National Parks England Chair, Margaret Paren. She has been a diligent Chair during a time of considerable change and political uncertainty.”

National Park Authorities work in partnership with local communities, landowners and a range of other organisations and interest groups, including thousands of volunteers, to look after these special places for everyone. They share the 70th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 with the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), which together make up our designated landscapes in this country.

The Government published a Review of Designated Landscapes in September 2019 that includes a raft of proposals. National Parks England is working with the Government to consider how the challenges and opportunities raised by this Review can be addressed collectively. This includes the means and resources required to achieve thriving National Parks and AONBs.




In its submission to the Glover Review, National Parks England championed five ambitions:

  1. NATURE - National Parks as bigger and better places for nature, connected through wildlife corridors to each other and resilient to climate change
  2. FARMING - Bespoke farming and land management schemes that work for National Parks and underpin wider rural development
  3. HEALTH - A strong new partnership with the NHS to improve people’s health, well-being, and recovery
  4. CHILDREN - A Government commitment that every child has the opportunity to visit a National Park to enjoy outstanding learning experiences during their time at school
  5. PASSION - Harnessing a passion for our National Parks

For more information see:

For further information please contact:
Paul Hamblin
Executive Director  
National Parks England
020 3096 7979

For interview requests please contact:
Stephi Juckes (Coast Communications)
01579 352602