NPEs Response to the Government announcement on ‘Restoring our natural environment’

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England’s National Parks represent our finest landscapes, famed for their spectacular beauty, varied wildlife and rich cultural heritage. National Parks are critical to providing access to green spaces for the nation, helping to tackle the challenges of climate change, declining biodiversity and better health and wellbeing.

The announcements from Government today (Restoring our natural environment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk))  rightly recognise National Parks and other Protected Landscapes in their efforts to recover nature, increase public access and tackle climate change. We look forward to working with Natural England over the coming years as they work on designating a new National Park.

We welcome the commitment to additional funding to help National Parks next year and look forward to seeing more details. In principle it will make a small contribution to reversing the real time budget cuts experienced by National Parks amounting to approximately 40% reduction in funding since 2010.

National Parks are our natural ‘Gold Reserves’: homes to some of the most special plants and wildlife, and some of the only habitats of their kind on the world stage.  National Parks also play a key role in health and wellbeing: for every £1 of government funding to National Park Authorities provides £5.70 in public health benefits.

Neil Heseltine, Chair of National Parks England said:

The announcements today, along with the release of the Government’s response to Julian Glover’s Landscapes’ Review build on strengthened duties on other public bodies, confirmed in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act. But to fully realise our ambition to conserve 30% of land for nature significant additional tools and funding will be needed. We look forward to continuing to work with them on these goals and of course in time in welcoming a new National Park Authority to the family of National Parks.