The Government is currently looking at whether the protections for AONBs and National Parks are still fit for purpose; in particular, what might be done better, what changes will help and if the definitions and systems in place are still valid.
The independent advisory panel leading the review has launched a public call for evidence, offering everyone a chance to have their say - whether they live in a National Park or AONB, run a business in them, enjoy visiting, care about landscapes and biodiversity, or represent an organisation with relevant views.
How to I submit my views to the review team?
The panel has launched a public call for evidence which will be open until 18 December 2018 - comments are being collected via an online questionnaire on the Defra website: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/land-use/landscapes-review-call-for-evidence/.
About the Review
The review will explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.
Undertaking a review is one of the key commitments of Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan, which was launched by Michael Gove earlier this year. The Plan outlines the Government’s vision for improving the environment over a generation by connecting people with nature and helping wildlife to thrive.
Julian Glover, associate editor at the London Evening Standard, is leading the review, supported by an experienced advisory group:
- Lord Cameron of Dillington - Cross-bench peer, farmer and landowner
- Jim Dixon - former Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority
- Sarah Mukherjee - Former BBC environment and rural affairs correspondent. Currently Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association
- Dame Fiona Reynolds - Formerly the Director-General of the National Trust and current Chair of the Green Alliance
- Jake Fiennes - General Manager for Conservation at the 25,000-acre Holkham Estate.
NAAONB Chairman, Philip Hygate, said: “The National Association for AONBs is delighted to support this exciting review and we will work closely with Julian Glover and his review panel to help ensure that all of England’s special landscapes are equally recognised for the value they provide to the nation, and their fundamental importance to future generations.
“We believe that, together, we can achieve the Secretary of State’s vision of a thriving agriculture sector, a healthy rural economy, beautiful landscapes, rich habitats for wild life, a just society and a fair economy”.
What happens next?
The review panel is expected to report back to Government in 2019. More details will be published on this page when available; please subscribe to our High Weald AONB eNews to receive updates.