Bainbridge, 17 September 2019
Secretary of State for the Environment Theresa Villiers has told leaders of the UK’s protected landscapes that National Parks have an “important role” in achieving the government’s “core goals”.
Speaking via video to delegates on the opening afternoon of the UK National Parks Conference, hosted for the first time since 2000 by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Ms Villiers stressed that “nature recovery and protecting biodiversity” were at the heart of the government’s programme.
Delegates also heard from representatives of the Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as from Defra’s Deputy Director, Land Use Policy, Marie Southgate, who reinforced the minister’s message by explaining how the department was planning to “revitalise our system of farming support”.
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Chairman, Carl Lis, introduced the conference’s theme of ‘New Horizons’, and encouraged people to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act.
Theresa Villiers told the conference: “Our core goals for this government include nature recovery and protecting biodiversity – including an entirely new system of farm support, which focuses on rewarding our farmers for great produce but also for their stewardship of our natural environments and our beautiful landscapes – and also the goal we have of connecting more people with nature. I know that National Parks will be playing an important role in all three.”
Mr Lis said: “It is particularly exciting to be hosting the conference in this 70th anniversary year of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. Over the next three days, we’ll be celebrating the history of National Parks across the UK, giving people the opportunity to experience a few of the special qualities of the Yorkshire Dales and looking to the future through our theme of ‘New Horizons’.”