Defra has today announced an extension will be made to the boundary of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, following a recommendation from Natural England.
In the Lake District this will include an area in the east from Birkbeck Fells Common to Whinfell Common, and an area in the south from Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell, and part of the Lyth Valley. The total extension will account for around a three per cent increase in size in the park (Yorkshire Dales’ extension is around 24 per cent).
We are supportive of the extension to the Lake District National Park as we believe it will create a boundary line that is most appropriate for the landscape. We welcome the opportunity to maintain and improve the environment in these areas, particularly rights of ways, for the benefit of everyone who enjoys the Lake District and surrounding areas.
We consider the extension a long-overdue measure from when the boundaries were initially set in 1951, when the Lake District National Park was created. At that time, they were set to follow local political administrative boundaries, rather than the more natural geography of the landscape.
However, resources must be put in place to fund the management of this additional land, and we look forward to clarifying exactly how this will be implemented ahead of the extension coming into effect in 2016.
For further information and maps indicating the new boundaries, please visit the Defra pages of the gov.uk website