21 September 2012
Natural England has adopted a new approach to the way our most precious landscapes, geology and wildlife will be protected in the future.
Today we have published a new Designations Strategy which takes forward the recommendations of the 2010 Making Space for Nature report and helps to deliver the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper, which reaffirmed commitments made under the England Biodiversity Strategy and European Landscape Convention.
Both the Natural Environment White Paper and Making Space for Nature focused on the need to do more to join up England’s wildlife habitats and create more coherent ecological networks which would help wildlife adapt better to a changing climate and provide opportunities for isolated populations of threatened species to expand.
Natural England has a major role to play in the way our most precious landscapes, geology and wildlife are protected. We are responsible for designating landscapes and notifying new sites for protection - these include Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, National Nature Reserves and National Trails - as well as amending the boundaries of already existing protected areas. We also advise Government on international and marine designations.
This new strategy will help us prioritise future designation work and we will;
Manage our designation activities in a more joined-up way – ensuring new designations and sites work together, bringing more benefits for wildlife.
Review the extent and diversity of the current series of AONBs and National Parks to help establish where there is scope for future new designations and provide clarity to local authorities, for example, on whether proposals for these or for boundary variations have a good chance of being taken up in the future.