The Government Review of National Parks and AONBs – your views are sought

The Government has asked for an independent review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). You can find more about the work of the review and their Terms of Reference.  Already the review team, led by Julian Glover and a panel with a range of experiences and interests, has carried out visits and meetings in many parts of England.

The review and associated survey is wide ranging and explores more than just the idea of new National Parks or other types of designation. It is the first time that there has been a national review of Parks and AONBs since the original enabling legislation in 1949 and parallels with the growing local discussions over the merits of the Cotswolds being designated a National Park. The newly adopted Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2018 -2023 contains the ambition: To promote the case for the Cotswolds being designated as England’s next National Park.

The Government will do more in the months ahead – but want everyone to have a chance to contribute, whether you live in a National Park or AONB, run a business in them, enjoy visiting, care about landscapes and biodiversity, or represent an organisation with views that might shape and improve their findings. The online survey asks 24 questions and suggests you limit your responses to 500 words per question some people and organisations will want to reply in detail on specific points. It is not necessary to reply to every question so please ignore those which you do not think relevant to you. You may find it easier to write your answers elsewhere before pasting them into the text boxes which follow.

We have summarised the questions below to provide an insight:

  • What does and doesn’t work about the current system of designated landscapes
  • What you think about the roles of National Parks and AONBs in regard to:
    • landscape, beauty, cultural heritage
    • nature conservation and biodiversity
    • working with farmers and farm payments
    • managing access and recreation
    • people who live in the designated landscapes
    • housing and transport
  • Your thoughts on how;
    • Parks and AONBs are governed
    • Parks and AONBs are funded
    • they work collectively
    • they involve people and encourage volunteering
  • The process of designating Parks and AONBs
  • Suggestions for new National Parks, AONBs and new types of designation for marine and urban areas
  • Whether there are lessons to be learnt from abroad
  • Whether the title AONB could be improved
  • How National Parks and AONBs work with National Trails, SSSIs, SACs etc

Submissions are invited from individuals and organisations by the 18th December 2018

The online survey is available for you to complete at

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/land-use/landscapes-review-call-for-evidence/consultation/intro/