In May 2018, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) commissioned Julian Glover and an independent panel to consider how the management of our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) might be improved. Their Landscapes Review made a series of recommendations, setting out a plan “for a brighter, greener future”. 

This week’s Written Statement from Government does not represent the Government’s full response to the Glover Review, which will be published as part of the forthcoming consultation on draft proposals later this year.  

New and extended AONBs have been announced, but we are disappointed that the carefully thought through and well supported plans by Friends of the Lake District and the Southern Boundary Partnership plans for an extension to the south of Lake District National Park have not been included.  We will continue to press for this extension, and understand that there will be opportunities for this to be considered. 

The statement from Government also includes proposals to provide specific funding for farming in protected landscapes for projects to improve nature and allow for more access. Government said it had developed the fund as a way to push forward a 'renewed drive to support nature recovery within England's protected landscapes'. 

During the Review one of our key asks was that a National Landscapes Service be created and this was one of Glover’s key recommendations. This is not included in the current statement, but we understand that more detail on this aspect will come later. 

Recent post-lockdown experiences have reinforced the urgent need to promote car free access to and around designated landscapes to ensure more visitors can enjoy these special places without placing increased pressure on the environment and local communities. 

Another of the Glover recommendations was a call for a new approach to coordinating public transport piloted in the Lake District, and new, more sustainable ways of accessing national landscapes. We made a major point of calling for studies to address the transport problem in our recent response to the Lake District National Park Partnership Management Plan.