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  6. National Park expansion plans pass key milestone

National Park expansion plans pass key milestone

The expansion of two of England’s National Parks has reached a major milestone now Natural England’s Board has agreed to proceed with recommendations to significantly expand the boundaries of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. This move will increase their combined area by nearly 500 square kilometers.

If confirmed by the Secretary of State, the new areas would join the ranks of some of the country’s most highly protected landscapes. The new boundaries would amount to the most significant addition to England’s National Parks since the confirmation of the South Downs in 2009.

Since 2009 two phases of face-to-face and online consultation have been conducted to ask for views from the public, local communities, statutory agencies, interested organisations and local authorities. Over two thirds of respondents said they were in favour of extending the National Parks.

The proposed variation to the Yorkshire Dales National Park includes:

  • to the north, parts of the Orton Fells, the northern Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang
  • to the west, Barbon, Middleton, Casterton and Leck Fells, the River Lune and, part of Firbank Fell and other fells to the west of the river.

The proposed variation to the Lake District National Park includes:

  • to the east, an area from Birkbeck Fells Common to Whinfell Common
  • to the south an area from Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell, and part of the Lyth Valley

Natural England’s recommendations are subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and will be submitted by Natural England in the form of Variation Orders early next year.

Read the Natural England press release.


Roger Milne

29 September 2011