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National Parks: Wildlife

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL15235, tabled on 11 April 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of wildlife decline in UK national parks.

Answered on

29 April 2019

National Parks policy is a devolved matter, so the following information relates to England only.

The Government has not to date published a specific assessment of changes in wildlife populations in National Parks, but there is national monitoring and local species survey data that can be used to determine broad trends. In general terms, we observe trends in National Parks similar to those seen in the wider countryside.

There have been long-term declines for a number of species and some habitats are in unfavourable condition, often because of past land use. There have, however, been a number of recent conservation successes, for example, the Moors for the Future Partnership, which was set up to restore peatland in the Peak District and South Pennines, and the Two Moors Project in Dartmoor and Exmoor, which has boosted marsh fritillary butterfly abundance following years of decline.

The Government has commissioned a Review of England’s designated landscapes (National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)), which is being led by Julian Glover, supported by an experienced advisory group. Central to its remit is how to enhance the environment and biodiversity in National Parks and AONBs. We are expecting the report later this year.