New national park to be established in England


A new national park is to be established in England, as part of a government set of "nature pledges".

Natural England will consider a list of possible sites, which could include the Chilterns, the Cotswolds and Dorset. Funding worth £15 million was also announced – this will be shared by England's 10 existing national parks and 34 National Landscapes, formerly known as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The package forms part of the government's final response to a 2019 review that criticised how such protected landscapes were managed and funded.

The most recent national park to be established in England was the South Downs in 2010 (Mark Wordy).

However, some environmentalists gave the news a cautious welcome, as government funding for national parks has fallen in real terms, forcing service and staff cuts.

Kevin Bishop, chief executive of Dartmoor National Park, welcomed the news but with some reservations. "A new national park is good news for Britain. It's brilliant for our economy, brilliant for our environment," he said.  "I suppose the key thing for existing national parks is that the money for the new national park needs to be on top of what the existing national parks receive."

The most recent national park to be created in England was the South Downs in 2010.