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Environment Protection

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL1686, tabled on 5 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government which areas will (1) be designated national parks, (2) be designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, or (3) otherwise protected from development, by 2030.

Answered on

19 July 2021

Natural England, as the statutory advisor to the Government on landscape, announced on 24 June 2021 an ambitious programme to create and improve protected landscapes.

As part of this programme Natural England has with immediate effect started work to consider the creation of two new Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), the Yorkshire Wolds and the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge; and expansions of both the Surrey Hills and Chilterns AONBs.

The Government has committed to protect and improve 30% of UK’s land for biodiversity by 2030. To meet this commitment, Natural England will also undertake an all-England landscapes assessment to identify any remaining places suitable for National Park or AONB designation.

We have announced our intention to publish a Green Paper on nature recovery, including wildlife reform, before the end of the year. This consultation will provide the opportunity to influence how we can improve our wildlife laws to deliver our ambitions for nature recovery, including improving sites and habitat protections, aligning these with the Government’s strategic priorities for nature and biodiversity.