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Celebrating National Parks – and ensuring they deliver more for people, nature and climate

For National Parks Fortnight and National Parks Week this April, Laura Williams, Campaigns & Communications Manager at Campaign for National Parks, explains what action is needed to protect and improve National Parks and how everyone can help.

April 2022

April is a busy month in the world of National Parks – with National Parks Fortnight, National Parks Week and the deadline for the Landscapes Review response consultation.

National Parks have helped us through some challenging times these past few years and, 70+ years since their creation they are more important than ever. But they are under threat: from over a decade of funding cuts, from inappropriate development, and from climate change. With a long history of campaigning, we continue to work with partners - including Wildlife and Countryside Link - to give National Parks a bigger voice with parliament.

We were pleased to work with Link on the State of Nature campaign, which succeeded in getting the Government to agree to legal targets for nature. And are also backing the more recent Nature for Everyone campaign to put a 'right to nature' into law. Both of these asks could lead to positive outcomes for National Parks - with more investment into nature recovery and people more invested in caring for nature.

Our National Parks and the Climate Emergency report released last year outlined the key role that National Parks can, and should, play in tackling the climate crisis. But they need more support to scale up the actions we identified as well as the nature recovery and other work which was recently highlighted in this welcome report from National Parks England. Private investment can help but is not the whole answer and also brings other risks.

We raised these concerns, and other important points in our response to the recent Landscapes Review consultation, which you can read here. We welcome the Government’s vison and ambitions set out in its response to the Landscapes Review – including the prioritisation of nature recovery and climate action - but more is needed to deliver this.

We need urgent action to protect and improve National Parks, ensuring they’re delivering more for people, nature and climate. We need to see new legislation to embed this into law and are calling on the Government to:

  • Update National Park laws to prioritise nature, climate and equality
  • Set clear targets for nature recovery in National Parks
  • Support all farmers in National Parks to deliver more for nature and access
  • Establish a national programme to enhance access and diversity
  • Invest in these critical public assets for the health of society and the planet

We will continue pushing the Government on this, but cannot do it without your support. This National Parks Week sees the launch of our ‘Save Our National Parks: Share Your Story’ appeal. We’re sharing – and asking you to share – stories of what National Parks mean to you and are asking for donations as part of the Big Give to help us unlock £5,000 of fund-matching. Every pound donated will be doubled at no extra cost to you. Last year's appeal led to us launching our National Parks: New Perspectives bursaries, supporting young storytellers to share their stories of and visions for National Parks - we'll be sharing these with you in the coming months.

To support our appeal and find out more, see:

    Laura Williams is Campaigns & Communications Manager at Campaign for National Parks.

    Follow: @Campaign4Parks

    The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.