Friends of the Lake District welcomes the news that National Parks will share an additional £4.4 million of Government funding. The two National Parks in Cumbria, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, will receive a share of £440,000 each to fund services such as visitor centres, ranger services, access and engagement programmes.

Alongside many organisations, including the Campaign for National Parks and other National Park Societies, Friends of the Lake District has been calling on Government to provide National Parks with the powers and resources to allow them to deliver their full potential for people and nature.

The announcement is a clear recognition by Government of the value of National Parks to our health and wellbeing and their vital role in addressing the nature and climate crises. However, National Parks have seen their core funding fall considerably in real terms over the last 12 years, which has had a considerable impact on their ability to deliver frontline services. This new funding will only offer short-term financial relief. Friends of the Lake District will continue to urge the Government to address the longer-term financial pressures that our National Parks are suffering.

Cumbria is also lucky enough to be served by three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Arnside and Silverdale, Solway Coast and North Pennines. They have seen a 60% cut in real terms in their funding over the last decade.

Our protected landscapes are a national asset, which will be vital for delivering ambitious Government targets on nature, climate and public access. The Government needs to recognise the vital work of all our protected landscapes and ensure they have long-term funding to deliver on their ambitions.