Today, Saturday 15 January, the Government published its response to the Landscapes Review, an independent review led by Julian Glover and published in 2019, and opened a consultation enabling the public to express their views.
The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty welcomes the Government’s long-awaited response, particularly the opportunity to reinvigorate the status of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty with new purposes, powers and resources for the teams charged with conserving and enhancing these special places.
However, it also believes the proposals as currently presented fall short of the ambitious, transformational change that Glover and his team envisaged. The Review recognised the enormous potential and frustrated ambition of the National Landscape network – 34 designated landscapes, covering 15% of England’s land area – to deliver so much more for nature, climate and people, at this critical time.
Despite the chronic underfunding cited in the Landscapes Review, National Landscape teams are at the forefront of combatting climate change and restoring nature. Our joined-up approach to nature restoration is captured in the Colchester Declaration. Extending the collaborative working ethos of National Landscapes to a national partnership could be effective, but only part of the answer.
The Government’s response is accompanied by a 12-week consultation to seek views on the Government’s proposals, the National Association for National Landscapes will be submitting its views and we encourage members of the public to do the same.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks from today, closing on 9th April. This is an opportunity for people to shape how protected landscapes will deliver benefits for people and nature for years to come.