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New Forest National Park Authority welcomes Government’s nature package announcement

New Forest National Park Authority welcomes Government’s nature package announcement

PUBLISHED ON: 29 NOVEMBER 2023

The New Forest National Park Authority welcomes the Government’s announcement today (Wednesday 29 November) of a new nature package to invest in our most precious landscapes and connect more people to nature. 

New Forest National Park Authority Deputy Chair Victoria Mander said: ‘As one of the newest National Parks, we know how important it is that there are sufficient resources so all our National Parks can thrive and play their full part in supporting our climate, nature, and people. Our team, partners and communities are ready to achieve our Re:New Nature scheme but it requires partnership and investment from everybody as we have been operating against a backdrop of 40% cuts in real terms over 10 years. 

‘The New Forest is globally important for wildlife and crucial in meeting the challenges for climate, nature and health so we hope investment into this unique National Park will follow as soon as possible; this needs to enable a bespoke scheme to sustain commoning and ensure this precious landscape survives into the future.’

Statement from National Parks England

England’s National Parks represent our finest landscapes, famed for their spectacular beauty, varied wildlife and rich cultural heritage. National Parks are critical to providing access to green spaces for the nation, helping to tackle the challenges of climate change, declining biodiversity and better health and wellbeing. 

The announcements from Government today rightly recognise National Parks and other Protected Landscapes in their efforts to recover nature, increase public access and tackle climate change. We look forward to working with Natural England over the coming years as they work on designating a new National Park. 

We welcome the commitment to additional funding to help National Parks next year and look forward to seeing more details. In principle it will make a small contribution to reversing the real time budget cuts experienced by National Parks amounting to approximately 40% reduction in funding since 2010. 

National Parks are our natural ‘Gold Reserves’: homes to some of the most special plants and wildlife, and some of the only habitats of their kind on the world stage.  National Parks also play a key role in health and wellbeing:  for every £1 of government funding to National Park Authorities provides £5.70 in public health benefits.

Neil Heseltine, Chair of National Parks England, said: ‘The announcements today, along with the release of the Government’s response to Julian Glover’s Landscapes’ Review build on strengthened duties on other public bodies, confirmed in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act. But to fully realise our ambition to conserve 30% of land for nature significant additional tools and funding will be needed. We look forward to continuing to work with them on these goals and of course in time in welcoming a new National Park Authority to the family of National Parks.’ 

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