Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Council for National Parks (G6)

  The Council for National Parks (CNP) is the national charity that works to protect and enhance the National Parks of England and Wales, and areas that merit National Park status, and promote understanding and quiet enjoyment of them for the benefit of all.

  CNP wishes to draw the following key points to the Committee's attention.

  1.  CNP is concerned that insufficient resources are being provided to DEFRA's Countryside Division. CNP notes that the Division is very stretched in terms of meeting its responsibilities on National Park sponsorship. Additional resources will be required to enable the Division effectively to process the designation of new National Parks in the South Downs and the New Forest if work on existing National Parks is not to be jeopardised. The current review of National Park Authorities (which we understand is expected to conclude and report in July) is also likely to put additional pressure on the Division, which further strengthens the case for greater resources.

  2.  CNP notes that common land revision is proceeding very slowly. Staff previously designated to work on common land have been diverted (because of foot and mouth disease) and not replaced. This is another area in need of greater resources and CNP hopes that the Committee could encourage the speedier progression of this important work.

  3.  CNP considers that DEFRA needs to give a clear steer to the Countryside Agency, particularly with regard to the Agency's priorities for National Parks. It is important that the Agency retains its interest in areas that were traditionally taken forward by the Countryside Commission and which it is statutorily obligated to deliver.

21 May 2002

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