Securing the value of nature in English national parks
One year on from the publication of the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper, the English National Park Authorities Association (ENPAA) has published a review of progress on the themes of the white paper in England’s national parks.
This edited extract from the progress report summarises some of the work that national parks are doing to contribute to the aims of the white paper.
Tree planting at Caldbeck in the Lake District
National Park Authorities welcomed the publication of the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP) – The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature – in 2011. National Park Authorities (NPAs) were already making a significant contribution to the main themes of the White Paper in their own right and collectively as a network but we also recognised that the White Paper signalled the need for a step change in what we do and achieve. Here we highlight some of the progress on delivery of key NEWP aims.
As well as through individual activities and projects, NPAs can also support the White Paper’s implementation by working collectively through ENPAA on priority projects, sharing experience, and acting as pilots. We look forward to continuing to work with existing and new partners to deliver NEWP outcomes.
In our progress report we highlight some of the work NPAs are doing to deliver three of the themes of the NEWP:
Protecting and improving our natural environment
- Local Nature Partnerships and Nature Improvement Areas – all NPAs are involved in LNPs. Two NIAs are primarily located in National Parks.
- Restoring nature in our rivers and water bodies – continuing with existing catchment level work and new restoration projects.
- Protecting and improving our woodland and forests – contributing to the Independent Panel on Forestry’s work and working to increase woodland cover inside and adjacent to National Parks.
Growing a green economy
- Growing business opportunities that pay back to nature – NPAs have been involved with innovative work on payments for ecosystems services and use of an ecosystems approach to project management and spatial planning.
- NPAs run or support a range of initiatives to develop local green economies including the Sustainable Development Fund, business forums, training and skills programmes and investing in local infrastructure such as livestock markets and community renewable energy schemes.
Reconnecting people and nature
- Connecting through education in and about the natural environment and Connecting by improving access to the countryside – This theme underpins the work of the NPAs in a fundamental way but our activity is most visible through education and engagement programmes. One of the most successful programmes of recent years has been the engagement in the Mosaic project led by the Campaign for National Parks.
The full report gives more details of the work of NPAs to deliver the NEWP, and a few case studies. It does not provide an exhaustive description of all the activities NPAs undertake in delivering our purposes, shared vision – The English National Parks and Broads UK Government Vision and Circular 2010 – and the NEWP ambitions. While the areas of work indicated above are common to all National Parks the degree and type of activity varies. Each NPA will make use of local opportunities and resources to best suit local needs and aspirations.
- Securing the value of nature in English national parks: further details and full progress report available to download
- The English National Parks and Broads UK Government Vision and Circular 2010 (pdf)
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