Leaders of UK's national park authorities issue landscape declaration as concern about the future grows

Leaders of national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty from across the UK have issued a declaration urging the Government to value landscape.

At the biennial conference of UK national park authorities in the North York Moors last week participants issued a call to the Government to "engender renewed awareness of the value of landscape in decision making."

Chief executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority Andy Wilson said: "Landscapes are important because they inspire individuals and communities and bring belonging. They define people and nations.

"We will seek economic value from the beauty of our landscapes in these difficult times - but if we degrade them in the process that cannot be wise."

Those attending the conference expressed concern that a growing population, climate change and globalisation are threatening the UK's landscapes. They undertook to consider how greater economic benefit can be achieved from special landscapes but without damaging them.

According to the conference, tourism in the UK’s 15 national parks contributes around £5bn to the national economy.

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