We have received the news that Natural England are initially considering the designation of new national landscapes elsewhere but we feel that there is still a strong case for extending the Southern boundary of the Lake District National Park.

Natural England have said that they will take forward the Prime Minister’s commitment in the 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to designate more national landscapes by considering the designation of four new areas: a new Yorkshire Wolds AONB, a new Cheshire Sandstone Ridge AONB, an extension to the Surrey Hills AONB and an extension to the Chilterns AONB. 

At the invitation and with the support of local parish councils as represented by the Southern Boundary Partnership, Friends of the Lake District had conducted extensive research into opportunities to expand the Lake District National Park, and had asked Natural England to consider this back in August 2019. 

Chief Executive Douglas Chalmers said, “We believe we had a very strong case. We had community support, historical precedent – much of the area had been included in the Hobhouse Report which suggested the original boundaries in the 1940’s, and we commissioned an independent survey on landscape quality that justified our claim. 

“Coinciding with the Glover Review of Protected Landscapes, and encouraged by the Prime Minister’s statement on increasing the area of protected landscapes, it is therefore disappointing that this opportunity has not been taken at the moment. 

“However, there remains room for optimism. Natural England have said that they “will also create a visionary map for England in the 21st Century, reflecting the spirit of the Hobhouse Map which led to the establishment of the first National Parks 70 years ago”. This will identify nature conservation and enhancement needs across England, including places suitable for National Park or AONB designation “wanted by local communities”. 

“We see this as a real opportunity. We know we have local support, the landscape is clearly of the quality required, and much of it was in the original Hobhouse Map. I can’t think of any greater way of “reflecting the spirit” of Hobhouse“, Mr Chalmers concluded. 

Chair of the Southern Boundary Partnership David Savage said, “Having conducted extensive community engagement in 2019, we know the Lake District extension is widely supported by our local communities. We now need a collective will to drive our well researched case and deliver on protecting our beautiful landscapes”.

You'll find details of our submission for the extension, mapping of the proposed area and answers to frequently asked questions about the proposal here>