5 May 2023
The Peak District National Park Authority confirmed today that they have launched a consultation around formal proposals for operational changes to the Authority. They published a press release on the subject here
CPRE PDSY / Friends of the Peak District have issued the following response to the press release:
CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire / Friends of the Peak District are saddened and deeply concerned about this round of cuts to the ability of the Park Authority to sustain what is so special about the country’s first National Park and to deliver a wider response to todays climate and other challenges that our most precious landscapes can help mitigate.
But we aren’t surprised by todays announcements . Our Parks have suffered from a long term and constant erosion of the funding and resources made available to them nationally, to the point where assets are being sold, skilled staff lost, and interaction with visitors becomes virtual rather than real.
Instead Government should be supporting Parks to act on the ground to reverse biodiversity loss, to value the health and wellbeing benefits of access to the countryside that improves peoples quality of life and reduces burdens on the Health Service, and to contribute more to the already significant role the Peak District plays in carbon capture and flood prevention.
We welcome that the thinned out Authority is seeking to sustain its core statutory function to the best of its ability (including having a proactive Planning capacity), but find the cuts to visitor services which encourage people to use and benefit from the Park in greater numbers highly regrettable.
We will continue to lobby and persuade, with other environmental organisations, for a fair deal for our National Parks, and recognition of their wider role in tackling todays threats to how we coexist with nature.