London: England could get more national parks after Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced that he was launching a review into the country’s natural landscapes. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Gove said “the time is right” for a review, nearly 70 years on from the creation of the first national areas, reports the BBC.
It will consider whether to expand England’s network of parks as well as areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). England has 10 national parks – the Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Lake District, the New Forest, Northumberland, the North York Moors, the Peak District, the South Downs and the Yorkshire Dales.
The first national parks to be created were the Peak District, Lake District, Snowdonia and Dartmoor in 1951.
There are two in Scotland – Cairngorms; and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs – and three in Wales: the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Snowdonia.
The country also has 34 AONBs – including the Chilterns, the Cotswolds and the Isle of Wight.
Gove has appointed former government aide and journalist Julian Glover to carry out the review, the BBC reported.
“The creation of national parks almost 70 years ago changed the way we view our precious landscapes – helping us all access and enjoy our natural world, Gove wrote.
“We want to make sure they are not only conserved, but enhanced for the next generation.”
Margaret Paren, chairwoman of National Parks England said the announcement was “very much welcome” and the organisation intends to “to play a full part”.
National parks are areas specifically protected because of their countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage and are funded by central government.