This is an archived press release
Thursday 10 March 2005
10 March 2005
Warm Peak District welcome for Caribbean minister
A senior Government minister from the Turks and Caicos Islands swapped the sunshine for a fact-finding visit to the wintry Peak District.
Minister for Natural Resources and Social Services Mr Galmo Williams was welcomed by Peak District National Park Authority leaders at their HQ in Bakewell (March 10).
The Minister, who is responsible for environmental issues including National Parks, particularly wanted to learn from the Authority’s policies on building control within the Peak District National Park.
Mr Williams and Turks and Caicos Permanent Secretary Mr Terry Smith spent a morning with National Park Authority chief executive Jim Dixon and planning committee chair Narendra Bajaria, and an afternoon seeing the Peak District landscape with the Authority's conservation and access & recreation teams.
The British overseas territory, with a population of 22,000 on eight inhabited islands south-east of the Bahamas, has several environmentally sensitive areas, with many tourists coming to see the white sandy beaches, the third largest coral reef system in the world, the biggest cave network in the Caribbean, lush woodlands, a flamingo haven and a vast range of plant and birdlife.
Despite the differences in climate and geography, the challenges of caring for protected areas are similar across the world. Mr Williams said: "One particular issue in the Turks and Caicos Islands is the encroachment on National Park land of building and other uses.
"I am keen to find out how decisions are made on these and similar issues in the UK and that’s why I wanted to speak to the Authority responsible in the Peak District National Park."
Jim Dixon said: "We were delighted to meet Mr Williams and to share experiences of caring for environmentally sensitive areas. We are pleased he wanted to find out about our work in the Peak District - those responsible for protected areas across the world can learn much from each other in these personal visits."