MP praises the National Parks as 'Love your national parks' launched
Local MP Tim Farron has signed a parliamentary motion welcoming the launch of the Love Your National Parks celebration and praised the parks' value to society.
According to a report last year by National Parks England, the 10 national parks offer great economic benefits, contributing £6bn a year in added value to the UK - equivalent to the amount the aerospace industry does.
The parks' scenery and wildlife help attract 95m visitors a year who spend about £3bn.
England's National Parks are known for being superb landscapes, rich in heritage and wildlife, but they are also valuable generators of wealth and economic activity. In these difficult economic times the National Parks are seeking to enhance the contribution they can make based on their very special qualities. Tim and others are encouraging everyone to explore our National Parks.
The parliamentary motion says: "That this House welcomes the launch of the Love Your National Parks celebration; sees the UK's national parks as assets to the nation which enjoy widespread public support and are enjoyed by millions of visitors; celebrates the diversity of national parks from upland to lowland areas; notes that they provide havens for wildlife, stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, opportunities for adventure, inspiration, learning, physical and mental well-being and spiritual renewal, and a home for thousands of businesses; further notes that much economic activity in national parks is underpinned by their high-quality environment; further welcomes the fact that employment grew by 2.7 per cent in national parks in 2012; observes that the 90 million visitors to England's national parks alone already account for more than £4 to £6 billion of spending in national parks and their surrounding areas; further welcomes the aim of the celebration to grow the economic contribution of national parks further and increase awareness of how they can support people's health and well-being; recognises England's national parks as part of the wider network of the UK's national parks that together represent Britain's breathing spaces; and supports the impressive work of the National Park Authorities, farmers, land managers, non-governmental organisations, businesses, local communities and a wide range of partners that make this happen."
Tim said: "We are so lucky to have two national parks here in the South Lakes. Our parks boast stunning scenery and amazing countryside. Our national parks cost £1 per person per year and I think without a shadow of a doubt it is best pound I spend every year.
"However, while our national parks are wonderful, they must be made more accountable and I am pushing the government for action to try and bring about direct elections to our national park governing boards."