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Landscapes Review

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Landscapes Review (National Parks and AONBs): government response

15 January 2022

The independent Landscapes Review, published in 2019, looked at whether the protections for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) were still fit for purpose and set out out a series of recommendations.

The Government’s response to the Landscapes Review was published on 15 January 2022 and sets out changes to increase access to nature and ensure protected landscapes can deliver more for climate, nature, people and places for the next 70 years and beyond.

Consultation

A further 12-week consultation process, led by Defra, is now underway to ask for views on its plans to boost nature recovery and safeguard our iconic National Parks for future generations alongside other proposals, including:

  • encourage improved access to our protected landscapes and nature for all parts of society, particularly where this supports improved public health and wellbeing
  • continue support for the local communities that live and work in protected landscapes, helping preserve our heritage for future generations;
  • drive nature recovery and nature-based solutions within protected landscapes to help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change
  • apply structural changes and resources to support our protected landscapes in delivering more for nature, climate, people and places

The consultation closes on Saturday 9 April 2022 and can be found here.

Following the launch of the Consultation, Tom Hind, Chief executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said:

“National Parks represent the very best of England’s landscapes and it’s only right that those charged with their care are ambitious and progressive in their work. We therefore welcome the government’s consultation and the opportunity for individuals and organisations to feed back their views on the future of these incredibly special and protected areas.

“In the North York Moors, we recently published a new draft Management Plan for the National Park, a document that affirms our determination to establish a more resilient landscape that’s at the forefront of addressing climate change and helping nature recovery, whilst enriching the nation’s health and well-being. We will achieve this through working with partners, both locally and nationally, to ensure the North York Moors does not standstill as a place of beauty, but leads others towards a flourishing net-zero future.”


Background to the Landscapes Review

It is more than 70 years since the 1949 Act of Parliament that began the family of National Parks in the UK. As part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, the government asked Julian Glover to lead an expert panel to look at whether the protections for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) were still fit for purpose. In particular, the review looked at what might be done better, what changes would help and if the definitions and systems in place were still valid. The review panel published a report making recommendations to government in Autumn 2019.