Love Your National Parks celebration launched

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Published Monday 10 June 2013

Celebrating National Parks which bring us health, wealth and happiness

Today marks the launch of a new ‘Love Your National Parks’ celebration which aims to increase people’s understanding of what the National Parks have to offer, and to give a boost to their economic value.  The initiative is led by National Parks England(i) with support from Defra and a range of partners.

Chair of National Parks England and Exmoor National Park Authority, John Dyke said:

'England’s National Parks are known for being superb landscapes, rich in heritage and wildlife, but they are also valuable generators of wealth and economic activity.  In these difficult economic times it is important that we do what we can to enhance the contribution they can make based on their very special qualities.  Love Your National Parks provides an opportunity for people and organisations to do just that by celebrating the wonderful opportunities they provide.'  

Minister for the Environment, Richard Benyon MP, whilst visiting Northumberland National Park said:

'Our national parks are some of the most treasured places across the country with ninety million visitors every year.  National parks play a key role in rural economic growth, as they are home to thousands of businesses and provide benefits to local communities. I fully support this great campaign and hope it encourages people to visit, enjoy and love our national parks.'

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson said:

'We are pleased to take part in this national celebration. The New Forest means so much to many people and it is fitting that we join together to highlight how special National Parks and the New Forest are. There are lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the New Forest National Park from volunteering with wildlife and archaeology projects, to attending the New Forest Show and many other events celebrating the Forest throughout the summer.

'The New Forest National Park Authority also works with a wide range of businesses and organisations to boost the local economy while protecting the landscape. Initiatives include the New Forest Tour open top bus experience bringing visitors to different areas of the Park, the New Forest Land Advice Service supporting landowners, the Our Land sustainable tourism scheme, and a number of grants available.’

Anyone with an interest in the New Forest National Park can find out more information at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk.

There will be lots of exciting activities for everyone to take part in, during National Parks Week(ii) 29 July – 4 August 2013.  More details at: www.nationalparks.gov.uk

The celebration will involve a range of events in England’s 10 National Parks, as well as national announcements about how National Park Authorities are working with partners.  The celebration highlights:

  • 90% of English people say National Parks are important to them(iii)
  • 96% of English people say they want every child to experience a National Park first hand(iv)
  • A third of all spending on rural tourism in England comes from National Parks and their neighbouring towns and villages(v)
  • This expenditure is estimated to support some 68,000 full time equivalent jobs(vi).

More information on the celebration is at: www.nationalparksengland.org.uk

Contacts for further information:

  • Paul Hamblin – Director, National Parks England

(m) 07968 760 854

paul.hamblin@nationalparksengland.org.uk

  • Amanda Brace – Policy Officer, National Parks England

(m) 07801 966084

amanda.brace@nationalparksengland.org.uk

Notes to Editors

(i) National Parks England exists to support policy and practice by coordinating the views of the 10 English National Park Authorities (NPAs).

It does this by:

  • Providing a collective voice for the views of the English NPAs
  • Raising the profile of the work of the authorities to policy makers, Parliamentarians and other decision makers
  • Facilitating discussion amongst NPAs on issues of common concern
  • Supporting the development and capacity of the NPAs to effect change
  • Working in partnership with other bodies where this adds value

(ii)  National Parks Week 2013 - Actively Yours... to enjoy
  From 29 July to 4 August.  This year's National Parks Week will be a celebration of all the wonderful activities that people can take part in our beautiful landscapes - and our mission is to encourage everyone to make these spaces 'Actively Yours'. See full details at: www.nationalparks.gov.uk.

(iii) and (iv) Data from UK National Parks Awareness Survey 2012, commissioned by UK Association of National Park Authorities.

(v) and (vi)  Data from ‘Valuing England’s National Parks’ report (May 2013) by Cumulus Consultants and ICF GHK. More information on the report is available at: www.nationalparksengland.org.uk.

 

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