Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Landscapes Review, published September 2019, what plans his Department has to increase funding for National Park Authorities.
The Landscapes Review set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). We welcome this ambition, as the Government is committed to ensuring that our protected landscapes flourish as havens for nature and are places that everyone can visit and enjoy.
The review set out proposals to strengthen the role of National Parks and AONBs in connecting all people with nature and in building vibrant communities. Protected landscapes already work very closely with their local communities and have a good track record of working with businesses. We recognise, however, that they could do more, and we will continue to work with them to explore how we can support that objective.
Defra has recently informed all protected landscapes that their grant settlement for 2021/22 will be maintained at the same level as 2020/21. Through the new Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme, we are also providing additional investment to allow farmers and land managers to work in partnership with our National Park Authorities and AONB teams to deliver more impact.
The Landscapes Review also recommended that a new financial model is needed for protected landscapes, and proposed strengthening the purposes, powers and resources for AONBs in particular. We are currently working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, which we will publish in due course.