Posted by: dorsetcpre | October 1, 2014

Dorset and East Devon National Park Summary Note

Parts of Dorset and East Devon could become a National Park. Natural England, the Government Agency responsible for designated areas, is undertaking an assessment of the area’s merits for possible National Park status. This is welcome recognition of the national and international importance of Dorset and East Devon’s outstanding landscapes, geology, biodiversity and recreational value.

Sandra Brown, the Chairman of the Dorset and East Devon National Park Team, says:
“This is a great opportunity to create a National Park for the 21st century. The National Park would work in full partnership with communities, businesses, farmers and landowners, recreation and conservation organisations and all local authorities to boost local communities, jobs and tourism while caring for our unique landscape and heritage.
The National Park would:

  • Be a catalyst and champion for the things both local people and governments want to achieve: thriving local communities and a strong and diverse economy, achieved with sustainability and sensitivity to the environment.
  • Lead improved and “joined-up” care of the area’s natural capital and heritage. At a time when the ecosystem services provided by our landscapes are being recognised and valued, not least in mitigating climate change and saving species, a Dorset and East Devon National Park would provide sustainability, landscape-scale conservation and a coherent approach across current boundaries.
  • Be a great opportunity to promote the area and its many attractions for leisure and tourism, including increased scope for open-air recreation.
  • Work in partnership to deliver a wide range of economic and social benefits, including good quality employment, sustainable development, and increased resources for spending and investment in the area. We want the communities and businesses of the National Park area to benefit from such advantages. The first independent review of the South Downs National Park, designated in 2009, shows that it is already achieving wide-ranging benefits for people in and beyond the National Park area.

Our AONBs do good work. But a National Park, working in partnership with the local authorities and other partners, would take the AONBs’ activities to a new level. A National Park would do much more to help local communities, business, farming and tourism, as well as to promote recreation and the area’s other attractions, including the area’s beautiful and healthy environment.
This is a long term project. Designating a National Park can take some years, involving extensive consultation with communities, local authorities and interest groups. There would be many opportunities for all aspects to be considered.
There is growing support for the proposed National Park. Many organisations and groups across the area and beyond support the idea of a National Park. We hope that communities, local authorities and organisations across the area will work together to achieve the advantages and opportunities of becoming a National Park. We suggest that forward-looking organisations with vision will want to participate at this early stage in order to influence and shape the project.
The proposal represents a great opportunity for Dorset and East Devon.

Edward Fox, the actor, who is President of the Dorset CPRE, said:
“This is a great opportunity and well-deserved recognition for the Dorset and East Devon landscape and heritage. National Park status would attract visitors and bring new funding opportunities. We would benefit from a more joined-up and sensitive approach to valuing and caring for our world-class environment. The area narrowly missed designation as a National Park after the Second World War. This second chance must not be missed.”

Professor Denys Brunsden, who lobbied successfully for World Heritage status for the Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon, said:
“We were delighted when the Jurassic Coast became Britain’s first and only natural World Heritage Site – a well-deserved honour. Becoming a National Park is the logical next step in valuing and safeguarding this area’s fabulous natural assets.”

The Dorset & East Devon National Park Team will be pleased to hear from any group or individual interested in this proposal:
Dorset & East Devon National Park Team
c/o Swanage Town Hall
High Street, Swanage, BH 19 2NZ

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