Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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New Government Review – is the time now right for a Forest of Dean AONB and Cotswolds National Park?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 09:59

Bluebells in the Forest of Dean Bluebells in the Forest of Dean Rob Colley

30 May 2018


CPRE Gloucestershire welcomes the Government’s announcement for a Review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). “We welcome this opportunity to improve, and expand, the network of our protected landscapes, particularly here in Gloucestershire. We have been campaigning for many years for the Forest of Dean to become an AONB. We have also recently been discussing with the Cotswolds Conservation Board the potential benefits which could come from the creation of a National Park for the Cotswolds,“ comments Professor Patricia Broadfoot, Chair of CPRE Gloucestershire.

“With increasing pressure from major house building, often the wrong housing in the wrong places, our landscapes are being consistently diminished,” continues Professor Broadfoot. “In the light of this review, now is the time to ensure the increased protection and enhancement of our countryside and, especially, our rural communities with more effective and cohesive management”.

This potentially game-changing review will be run by an independent panel led by the writer Julian Glover. Next year will be the 70th anniversary of the legislation that led to the creation of National Parks and AONBs, which makes this 21st century review all the more exciting. CPRE played a significant and integral role in the creation of National Parks and AONBs in the 1940s and hopes to work closely with the Review Panel to further improve the protection and management of the landscape and cultural heritage of our finest countryside.

National Parks and AONBs cover a quarter of England’s land and 66% of people in England live within 30 minutes of a National Park orAONB, with visitors contributing more than £6bn each year to the local economy. The review will also consider how National Parks and AONBs deliver their responsibilities and are financed. These areas offer great value for money with public spending on these landscapes less than £1 per person each year.

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