According to a report by Dr Thompson of Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy national park authorities face cuts of up to 30% as a result of the spending review and more could follow. She said national parks have had ‘a low policy profile in central Government and as a result have been poorly integrated into wider agendas on reform of rural land use and development policy’.
Conservatives have presented a National Park Authorities Bill which would empower the Secretary of State to abolish National Park Authorities. It has its second reading debate on 1st April. (Fools day)
Green Party Policy
The countryside shouldn’t be split into “honeypots” for nature and tourists, and areas that are allowed to become an industrial wasteland. The conservation and protection seen in national parks should be applied to the whole countryside.
National parks have failed to give adequate ecological protection due to a lack of power, gross under-funding and confused and divided authorities.
In the short term we would want to widen the role of National Parks and the Park Authorities and support the extension of existing National parks and the designation of National Parks in other areas.
We will give local authorities the power to make Countryside Conservation Orders
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will receive comparable status to National Parks.
We will keep the designation of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
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