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