Nature recovery to be accelerated in England’s Protected Landscapes

RECOVERY of nature in England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) is to be accelerated. National Parks and AONBs (Protected Landscapes) are the country’s most iconic and beautiful places – representing our shared heritage and national identity. These characteristic landscapes contain swathes of ancient woodland, deep peat and grassland, and many of our most threatened species.

Home to a long tradition of farming in tune with the landscape, government has invested £25 million in thriving farming businesses which are crucial to these areas through the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme which has been extended to 2025 with additional funding.

The measures will help to ensure that Protected Landscapes organisations and their partners collaborate effectively, creating a national network of beautiful, nature-rich spaces that can be enjoyed by all parts of society.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said, “Our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are home to some of our most iconic and beautiful places and these new measures will help ensure that they play an enhanced role in the recovery of nature in our country.

“We anticipate that through these measures, Protected Landscapes will be able to make a major contribution to meeting our international commitment to protect 30% of land for biodiversity by 2030, to halt and then reverse the decline in nature.”

Government is also set to publish its response to the Landscapes Review consultation and a new Outcomes Framework. These measures will set out a plan of action for these special places and define the contribution that Protected Landscapes should make to national environmental targets.

A new Protected Landscapes Partnership backed by over £2 million of funding will bring together national organisations representing England’s National Parks, AONBs, National Trails and Natural England to collaborate, share knowledge and tackle common objectives such as nature recovery and improved public access.

Tony Juniper CBE, Chair of Natural England, said, “As the country’s official national advisory body on Protected Landscapes, Natural England very much welcomes this important step to more strongly integrate efforts to protect and enhance beautiful places with work to protect and recover nature.

“The new Protected Landscapes Partnership offers more opportunity to give practical effect to this mission and we look forward to working with everyone in driving forward with enhanced ambition and confidence in meeting national environmental targets.”

This package of measures delivers government commitments following the Landscapes Review, which set out how we can support our landscapes to deliver more for people and nature.

It comes as the government confirms it has extended funding to boost access and support those farming in national parks and AONBs through the Farming in Protected Landscape programme, extending it by a further year until March 2025 with £10 million additional funding each year.

To date it has supported more than 2,500 projects including over 400 to make the landscape more inclusive for visitors and the planting of over 100 miles of hedgerows.


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