The LI responds to the first interim report of the Glover Review into protections for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

South Downs National Park. Image © LUC

The government has today (16 July 2019) published the interim findings report for its review of designated landscape protections (the ‘Glover Review’).

Launched in May 2018, the review considers whether the protections for National Parks and AONBs in England are still fit for purpose.

The Landscape Institute submitted its response to the Glover Review in December 2018. Encouragingly, today’s interim report shows that the Review has taken up most of our recommendations.

The report argues, among other things, for:

  • exploring a potential National Landscape Service to de-fragment and improve efficiency in the landscape protection system
  • reforming National Park governance, appointing Boards that are smaller, more expert and more representative of wider society
  • encouraging a wider range of non-designated protected landscapes (citing the East Midlands’s National Forest and London’s National Park City initiative)
  • designated landscapes to lead the response to the climate crisis and decline in biodiversity, and on Nature Recovery Networks
  • a partnership with farming that promotes natural recovery and de-emphasises intensification
  • the use of Environmental Land Management (ELM) plans to work with landowners to develop long-term, landscape-scale strategies to improve natural capital in designated landscapes
  • designated landscapes to do more to encourage new visitors, particularly those from minority backgrounds (citing the Mosaic model for engaging BME communities in National Parks, which – while successful – was transitory)
  • facilitating low-cost social prescribing through increased links between designated landscapes and the NHS
  • increasing public funding for designated landscapes, as well as considering a wider and more innovative range of supplementary funding options

There is still some way to go, however, and the report suggests little to tackle how designated landscapes are to be properly resourced to take on a bigger role. If AONBs, for instance, are to have a greater role in planning, they will need appropriate advice and guidance, access to CPD, and – above all – the time to do it properly.

The Glover Review will publish its final report in the autumn. The LI will continue to feed in to the Review; if any members would like to help shape our policy recommendations, please get in touch with the LI policy team.


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