The Protected Landscape programme has been created in line with the Government’s commitment to protect 30% of our land by 2030 and plans to boost biodiversity. But what does this mean for the beautiful landscapes across the UK?
As stated by Julian Glover, “Our national landscapes are the soul of England, beautiful, much-loved and there for all of us, but they are also under pressure”. We couldn’t agree more! This is why we are so excited for the new protected landscapes programme and the benefits the UK will gain from it.
The Government plans will include boosting nature recovery across the UK and encouraging people from all parts of society to access Britain’s most beautiful landscapes as they build back greenery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This also includes providing help to farmers and land managers in England as the Farming in Protected Landscape programme is also introduced as part of the new plans.
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about what the Protected Landscape Programme entails and what changes you should expect to see in the next couple of years with our natural landscapes.
What is the Protected Landscape Programme?
The government will work in partnership with local authorities, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks to introduce the Protected Landscape Programme: a commitment to boost nature recovery and help entice people across the UK to visit our beautiful, natural landscapes. The future plans will begin by strengthening the status and support given to AONBs and building stronger partnerships with stakeholders. On top of this, this commitment will help towards the goal to protect 30% of the UK land by 2030. That’s a big yes from us!
Extending Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty across the UK
So, what are their first steps in protecting our land? The government has declared that the first point of action is to consider two of England’s most iconic landscapes, Yorkshire Wolds and Cheshire Sandstone Ridge for status as AONB in addition to extensions to the existing Surry Hills and Chilterns protected areas. If they are able to secure the status, this will give the parks extra protection and safeguarding for England’s beautiful landscapes. Combined, the four areas will potentially cover 40% of the additional 4,000KM2 required to meet the UK’s 2030 commitment which is a great, positive start.
Focusing on Farming in Protected Landscapes
The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme is also being launched and is a super important element in the overall success of the programme. It will provide funding to farmers and land managers based in National Parks or AONBs in England to help them make improvements to their natural environment, improving public access, mitigating climate change and providing people with opportunities to understand the landscape whilst supporting nature-friendly and sustainable farm businesses.
- Building ponds or wetland to support wildlife
- Providing new and easier public access opportunities
- Conserving historic features on farms
- Actions to reduce carbon emissions or use of plastics on farms.
Why is protecting our landscapes so important?
You might be asking yourself, why do we need to protect our landscapes? There’s so many reasons as to why. From our own mental health to protecting the UK’s greenery, the scenic, natural landscapes have a big impact on society.
As we are all aware, England is known across the world for its idyllic, cultural landscapes. In fact, they are known to have the power to relieve stress and improve mental health. As said by Tony Juniper, “It has become very apparent recently, and especially during the pandemic, is the enormous benefit people get from having access to beautiful nature-rich landscapes. These can, however, be hard for many people to reach.” With the help of the Protected Landscape programme, it will allow more people to experience and appreciate the amazing landscapes of the UK.
For more information on how nature and greenery can have a positive effect on your health, check out our most recent blog.
Supporting National Parks and AONBs
Supporting and providing further funding to the UK National Parks and AONBs will protect the areas from environmental enemies such as oil drilling, open coal mining and housing developments. These beautiful areas across the UK have a variety of wildlife and beautiful greenery that we should protect at all costs, but it’s important to note that National Parks alone bring in more than £4 billion per year and support 68,000 jobs.
Natural Character Areas
The UK’s distinctive landscapes capture the rich culture and history. As well as tourism, National Character Areas provide us with a wealth of information and analysis as well as environmental opportunities.
How Can We Help?
To help our landscapes, we encourage all of you to visit your local natural parks and AONBs to appreciate the idyllic scenes, encourage the protection of the landscapes and of course, improve your mental health in the long run.
As part of the sustainable construction industry, we will do our very best to look after the beautiful greenery in the UK and also encourage our customers to introduce nature into their homes too. To find out more about how you can begin to welcome nature into your home or workplace, book yourself in for a free consultation.