Government’s proposals for protected landscapes don’t go far enough

A view down a valley with hills, stone walls and a wooden gate

On 24 June 2021, Defra released its long-awaited response to Julian Glover’s review of protected landscapes. The Ramblers – and our partners at the Campaign for National Parks, National Trust, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts and more - has been pushing government to set out its plans for supporting and boosting access to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The government’s statement includes some promising lines, but was it worth the wait of nearly two years?

Gemma Cantelo, Ramblers head of policy and advocacy, says:

“We’re pleased the government has committed to enabling more people to access our most beautiful landscapes, but today’s statement is disappointingly short on detail – we need much greater ambition, scale and urgency if we’re to bring the benefits of walking in nature to everyone. Access to nature improves our lives and boosts the economy. COVID-19 and lockdown have shown just how important it is that everyone can connect with nature – whatever their background and wherever they live.
“To deliver a step change in access to nature, we’re calling on government to commit to: targets for access to nature under the Environment Bill; funding farmers to improve public access, not just in protected landscapes but wherever they’re based, and; a planning system that enhances people’s access to nature. We look forward to working closely with Defra in the coming months to develop these proposals and support everyone, everywhere to enjoy walking in nature.”

The Glover Review

Policy and advocacy officer, Alison Hallas, explores what the Glover Review means for walkers.