Public supports business backing for National Parks

This is an archived press release

Monday 9 May 2016

Nearly half of people surveyed on the future of the UK’s National Parks are concerned they will deteriorate if funding levels are reduced in the future, while 85% say their perception of a large company would improve if it provided them with support.

The research was carried out by the new National Parks Partnerships, launched today, which has been created to help businesses to work with the UK’s 15 National Parks. It is led by a board of directors of senior executives volunteering from the private sector and key commercial leaders from National Parks.

Steve Curl, chair of the board, said: “Government and the general public provide important support to the National Parks but we need additional commitments to make sure that they are not only sustained but enhanced for future generations. Partnership with responsible businesses - without commercialisation - can deliver the support needed to secure benefits from National Parks for the massive number of visitors from the UK and overseas, local communities and the environment.”

Simon Malcolm, director of commercial development and outreach at the Peak District National Park, said: “We already have some strong working relationships with businesses locally. This is a huge opportunity to work alongside all the other National Parks to develop exciting new ideas and partnerships on a bigger scale.

“The Peak District is a special place for so many people and we want to secure support to make it the best it can be, now and in the future.’’

In the survey of 2,000 people across the UK last month, 67% strongly agreed that children need to get active in the great outdoors and 68% strongly agreed that everyone should have the basic right to access nature in places like National Parks.

Current plans include an 'Active Parks Partner' to jointly promote health and wellbeing activities within the National Parks; a 'Parks Discovery Partner' to help provide for children who wouldn't normally get the chance to have educational experiences in 'outdoor classrooms'; an official outdoor clothing supplier to the UK’s 255 National Park Rangers; a national funder for the 'Miles without Stiles' programme that creates and maintains accessible paths; and opportunities to collaborate on environmental initiatives including sustainable transport, water and carbon management.

The mission of the UK National Parks is to conserve their natural beauty, promote public understanding and enjoyment, and foster economic and social development of local communities. The National Parks have 110 million visitors each year with an annual visitor spend of £5.5bn. 50% of people in England live within one hours’ drive of a National Park.

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This is an archived press release

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