Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Support growing for a Jurassic National Park > press release from Dorset

There is mounting interest in creating a new National Park comprising the East Devon and Dorset ANOB areas:
Futures Forum: Support growing for a Jurassic National Park

The Environment Secretary is very keen:
New national parks could be created as Michael Gove launches review of England's natural landscape | The Independent
Review of national parks launched by Michael Gove | Dorset Echo

Here is the press release today from the Dorset National Park campaign group:

DNP Welcomes Michael Gove's Announcement

29 May 2018

Dorset National Park Team

The Dorset National Park Team welcomes the statement by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for DEFRA, that the Government’s review of designated areas to be led by Julian Glover will consider whether more national parks are needed. A Dorset National Park was first proposed along with others which have subsequently gone ahead in a Government report of 1945. For reasons specific to the time it was not then progressed. But now there is cross-county and cross-party support for conserving and enhancing a landscape that includes the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, inland Ridgeways and the area of Thomas Hardy’s novels.

A Dorset National Park would be at the heart of southern England, next to the largest non-industrial conurbation in the country – Poole/Bournemouth – and within easy public transport reach of London, the South East, Midlands and Bristol. The Purbeck area of Dorset has the greatest biodiversity of any area in the country. But Dorset’s landscape, heritage and wildlife need to be safeguarded and enhanced. A Dorset National Park would work in partnership with its communities, councils, landowners, farmers and businesses to ensure its communities thrive and are sustainable.

We look forward to working closely with Julian Glover in his review.

For more information see http://www.dorsetnationalpark.com/

DNP Welcomes Michael Gove's Announcement | A National Park for Dorset in the 21st Century

With comment from the East Devon Watch blog:
Has East Devon missed out already on a joint East Devon/Dorset National Park? | East Devon Watch

A couple of warnings in yesterday's letters page in the Guardian, though:

National parks are more than natural

Our special landscapes are cultural constructs, says Tom Greeves. And public authorities need to think more about urban green spaces, says Ann Sharrock


Mon 28 May 2018 


Sunset in the Yorkshire Dales - Photograph: Daniel Kay/Adobe

‘Our existing parks are the least democratic part of the English local government system,’ writes Tom Greeves. 
Michael Gove needs to be careful in his choice of vocabulary about national parks (England may get more national parks after Gove announces review, 28 May). His review suggests that it is part of a process to enhance protection of “natural” landscapes and habitats. But our English national parks and all areas being considered for designation are equally cultural landscapes created by some 10,000 years of human presence, also needing protection. He should beware the fashionable concept of “natural capital” without balancing it with one of “cultural capital”. And he should be aware that our existing parks are the least democratic part of the English local government system, having no directly elected members. New designations balancing nature and culture, and with direct elections, might be welcomed – otherwise our special landscapes will be no better off.
Tom Greeves
Chairman, The Dartmoor Society

Michael Gove should develop and support the people who live and work in areas with poor-quality green infrastructure. While supporting and developing statutory designated sites is laudable, it is unlikely to offer direct positive benefits for urban and suburban dwellers not within easy access of such sites. Biodiverse habitats are not restricted to statutory designated sites and should be developed and nurtured as community assets providing recreation, education, physical and mental health benefits, and climate regulation. Failure to develop and set aside green spaces in our towns and cities shows the unwillingness of public authorities to invest in spaces which do not give an easily quantifiable cash return, despite progress in including natural capital assets in an economic framework.
Ann Sharrock

National parks are more than natural | Letters | Environment | The Guardian

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