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Natural England - Consultation announced for proposed extension to Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks

Consultation announced for proposed extension to Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks

11 December 2009

Natural England today announced that it will launch a public consultation on four proposed extensions to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. The new areas lie between the two National Parks and the consultation will seek views on whether they have the qualities necessary to be in a National Park, whether they should be given National Park status, and where the boundaries should be drawn.

Areas such as the Northern Howgill Fells, and the Birkbeck Fells to Whinfell, are among several very special landscapes in the area that Natural England has identified as suitable candidates for consideration for National Park status owing to their natural beauty and the opportunities they afford for open air recreation.

Consultees will also be asked whether, if the Orton Fells are designated, they should be included within the Lake District National Park or the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The consultation period is expected to start in mid December 2009 and end in Mid March 2010. A consultation document will be accompanied by a questionnaire, available both on line and as a paper copy. A range of events will also be held throughout the area, to raise awareness about the proposals and provide additional information. Further details will be announced in the near future.

The results of the consultation will help to inform future decisions to be made by Natural England on whether to designate any of the new areas for inclusion within the existing National Parks. Confirmation of any new boundaries would then be subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Poul Christensen, Chair of Natural England said: “It is fitting that, 60 years since the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act came into being, we have a unique opportunity to look at a major expansion of two of England’s most cherished protected areas.

We are looking to consult as widely as possible on these proposals to ensure that an extension to the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks can work with the people and businesses of the area and deliver the many public benefits that people are entitled to expect from National Park designation.”

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Notes for Editors:

The areas proposed for potential inclusion in the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales National Parks are:

Lake District National Park:

  • Birkbeck Fells to Whinfell
  • Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell and the Lyth Valley

Yorkshire Dales National Park:

  • Northern Howgill Fells
  • Mallerstang and Wild Boar Fell
  • Middleton, Barbon and Leck Fells
  • Firbank Fell
  • Lower Lune Valley and adjacent fells to the west

Part of the Lake District National Park or the Yorkshire Dales National Park:

  • Orton Fells

About Natural England

Natural England is the government’s independent advisor on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public

- We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.

- We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and Marine Conservation Zones, and advising widely on their conservation.

- We run England’s Environmental Stewardship green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.

- We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats.

- We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.

For further information contact: The National Press Office on 0845 603 9953, or out of hours 07970 098005. For further information about Natural England please visit: www.naturalengland.org.ukexternal link

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