Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

Skip to navigation

Expanding the finest landscapes in England

31 May 2013


The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Campaign for National Parks have joined together to support extensions to these iconic National Parks. Confirmation of the extensions would mark the conclusion of unfinished business, finally giving deserved status and protection to wonderful landscapes that have, until now, been excluded from the National Park family.

The Public Inquiry opens tomorrow (Tuesday) in Kendal, Cumbria [1] to consider the proposals.

CPRE President Andrew Motion says: "The landscapes of England are timeless; but some landscapes are given special protection because they hold a unique place in the heart of the nation. 

"The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales are two such places, we should take this opportunity to right an historic omission, and extend these two National Parks.  I hope, as I know thousands of others also hope, that the Inquiry starting now will recommend the four extensions of these two priceless, breath-taking places, and that the Government will endorse that recommendation if it comes. In doing so, they would leave a legacy for the nation that will be cherished for many generations to come."

The current boundaries of the Lakes District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks were drawn up over 60 years ago and left out important areas of high quality landscapes, such as Borrowdale in the Lake District and the Howgill Fells in the Yorkshire Dales. [2]

Campaign for National Parks President Ben Fogle says: "The landscapes being considered by this Public Inquiry are the finest undesignated tracts of countryside in England.  National Park status will not only help to protect the natural beauty and wildlife of these areas, but provide a much needed boost to the rural economy in these tough economic times."

The most recent public consultation into the extension plans generated over 3,000 responses, both from local people and from across the country. Over 90 per cent of those responses were supportive of the extensions, demonstrating the deep love people have for our National Parks. [3]

National Park designation provides opportunities to strengthen the rural economy within, and adjacent to, the extension areas. The benefits to businesses stem from both National Park status itself and the associated ‘brand', and from the work of the National Park Authorities in supporting additional investment in their areas. A recent report found that National Parks generated business turnover of £10.4 billion and employment within the Parks grew by 2.7 per cent in 2012. [4]

CPRE and the Campaign for National Parks will be represented at the Public Inquiry by the Key Support Group [5], which is coordinated by Friends of the Lake District. The Inquiry Inspector is due to submit his report to the Government in September this year. 

Jack Ellerby of Friends of the Lake District concludes: "Expanding the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks would be a good news story for the Government. We hope that Ministers will act swiftly to ensure that these beautiful landscapes are granted the National Park status they so richly deserve." 


Notes to Editors

[1] The Inquiry will be held at the Castle Green Hotel, Castle Green Lane, Kendal LA9 6RG. It is expected to last two weeks. More information:

[2] For example, in 1951 when the Lake District National Park came into being it left out the A6, the busy main trunk road to Scotland, which meant the adjacent high Lakeland fells of Birkbeck, Bretherdale and Borrowdale were excluded. These fells should have come into the Lake District in the late 1960s when the new M6 motorway took the bulk of the traffic away further east. Another anomaly is the Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary set in 1954 which cut straight through the middle of the Howgill Fells. The reason for this situation was that the local government boundary divided the old West Riding from Westmorland County.

[3] Natural England proposed designating land between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks in 2009 and has carried out two public consultations leading to a recommendation in September 2011 that the National Parks should be extended. On 17 January 2012 its Chair and Chief Executive signed Orders which, if confirmed, would vary the boundaries of the National Parks.

[4] A new report, Valuing England's National Parks, published by National Parks England, shows the importance of National Parks not just as iconic landscapes and part of our national identity, but as thriving rural economies contributing to national prosperity and wellbeing through their special qualities.

[5] The Key Support Group includes CPRE, the Campaign for National Parks, the National Trust, Ramblers, British Mountaineering Council, the Open Spaces Society and several other regional and local organisations. View the list:

Back to top

frost on leaves web home

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. If that's okay, just continue browsing - or see our cookies policy for ways to opt out.
Cookies Policy I agree