On Saturday 21 September, Defra published the Landscapes Review into the running of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The independent review was led by Julian Glover and called for ‘bold action’ to make the country’s landscapes greener, more beautiful and accessible to everyone. It also praised the brilliant work which has been done to maintain the beauty of places such as the Lake District, Exmoor and the Dorset coast.
Coverage focused on the review’s call for increasing access for everyone to designated landscapes, as well as the recommendation that every pupil should spend a night in one of these special landscapes to ensure young people remain in touch with nature.
Responding to the report, Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England which is the government’s statutory landscape adviser, said:
“We very much welcome the Glover Review and its core message that our national parks and AONBs should be the very backbone of the new Nature Recovery Network that we are working to build. These are the places that often spring to mind when people think about enjoying the natural world and by making them richer in wildlife as well as more accessible we can help people from all walks of life experience their inspirational beauty.
“The report also raises concerns about the process of designating national landscapes. We share these concerns and have taken steps in recent years to streamline the system where possible, in the context of budget difficulties that lead us to do far less than we would like to.”
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which commissioned the review, will now consider the recommendations and set out its response in due course.
Further information on designated landscapes, including how to visit one, can be found on the Natural England website.