There has been positive and widespread coverage of our announcement to boost nature recovery and safeguard England's iconic national parks for future generations, in plans set out by the Environment Secretary George Eustice.
The proposals, which will be subject to consultation, are set out in the Government's response to Julian Glover's independent Landscapes Review which looked at whether the protections for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are still fit for purpose.
Over the weekend, a piece on BBC News Online ran on the announcement, noting that the proposals include creating management plans for those in charge of national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and encouraging local leaders across England to bring the public closer to nature.
This announcement was also covered positively in the Times, Daily Mail, Independent, and regionally in outlets such as the Yorkshire Post and Western Morning News. The news ran on the Today Programme and LBC bulletins, and Farming Today interviewed Julian Glover on the proposals.
Today, Monday 17 January, further coverage has also appeared in The I and Western Daily Press, and Natural England's Chair Tony Juniper was interviewed by BBC Radio Somerset.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
Our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are amongst our nation's greatest and most cherished natural wonders. The comprehensive set of measures set out today represents a new chapter in the story of our protected landscapes and we have worked closely with stakeholders to carefully form our response.
These reforms will play a pivotal role in meeting our international commitment to protect 30% of land for biodiversity by 2030 as we build back greener.
Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper said:
From the beauty of the sandy beaches of the Scillies to the rugged glory of Northumberland, our protected landscapes are integral to our national identity, our health and wellbeing and our country's prosperity.
As Government's statutory landscape advisor, Natural England has a pivotal role in making sure our National Parks and AONBs are beautiful, thriving places. We welcome this package of measures which will help them deliver even more for the whole of society and combat the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. We look forward to playing a leading role in the national landscapes partnership and working closely with Government, protected landscape bodies and stakeholders to deliver these ambitious proposals.
Julian Glover, who led the review, said:
'This is our chance to make England's landscapes more beautiful, better for people who visit and live in them and far more alive with nature. Our countryside is there for all of us, but from the heaths of the New Forest to the high fells of the Lake District, it is under pressure in an urban world. It won't be enough just to try to conserve what we have inherited - we can change the story from decline to recovery, to make them greener, more welcoming and full of hope. The review I led showed what needs to be done and I'm pleased the Government has agreed to act.
The consultation closes on Saturday 9 April 2022 and can be found here.