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Dorset National Park Proposal and Glover Review report

Dorset National Park Proposal and Glover Review report

23rd September 2019

Dorset CPRE supports the proposal for a Dorset National Park which would work with our councils, communities and other stakeholders.

Dorset CPRE supports the proposal for a Dorset National Park which would work with our councils, communities and other stakeholders for a living, working, thriving and sustainable rural Dorset. We welcome the Glover Review’s conclusion that “the Cotswolds and the Dorset proposals are strong candidates alongside the Chilterns to be considered for National Park status. We suggest Natural England and ministers consider the case for each.”

We consider Dorset the outstanding candidate to be England’s next National Park. This is shown by the wide-ranging evidence provided to Natural England since 2013 and then to the Glover Review by the National Park Team and the proposals many partners and supporters. We look forward to Natural England resuming your assessment and consideration of the proposal as soon as possible. Dorset CPRE would wish the National Park, subject to assessment, to include as much as possible of rural Dorset. We do not share the view, in the Glover report, that development pressures are less strong in Dorset’s inland farming areas. On the contrary, Dorset’s outstanding environment and our internationally important biodiversity, noted by the Review and Dorset’s greatest asset, are under serious and growing threat. 

To assist the Glover Review and to facilitate further detailed assessment, Dorset CPRE commissioned an experienced and respected Dorset planner, Jo Witherden, to review the evidence for a National Park, based on the key criteria for National Park designation. The National Park Report includes formidable and wide-ranging evidence which it provides to support the designation of a National Park for rural Dorset. As the author indicates, the evidence base can no doubt be further amplified. For example, more attention has been given, over the years, to researching and documenting the landscape quality of the AONB areas than other parts of rural Dorset. There are also variations in documenting the cultural heritage and in information about biodiversity and recreational opportunity, as well as weaknesses in monitoring the ongoing condition of Dorset’s landscape, biodiversity and heritage assets. A future National Park would help to address these weaknesses.

We hope this survey helps Natural England in their further assessment of the proposal.

 

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