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Final report of Review of Designated Landscapes in Wales published

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

A wide-ranging review about the future of Wales’s national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) has been presented to Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant.
Friday 30 October 2015

Chaired by Professor Terry Marsden, Director of the Sustainable Places Research Institute at Cardiff University, the Independent Review of Designated Landscapes in Wales makes 69 recommendations covering a raft of proposals and observations on purposes, principles, vision, governance models, planning, and funding.

The recommendations include:

  • making no change to the name or legal status of national parks or AONB,
  • strengthening the support and delivery role of other bodies,
  • the creation of a National Landscape Committee.

The Minister said that due to the considerable scale and scope of the recommendations, further work is now needed to understand their potential benefit and their consequences.

He has asked Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM to lead a Future Landscapes Working Group and that he invites representatives of the national parks, AONBs, interest groups, business, and local government to participate.  

The group will explore these recommendations and the case for reform which is aligned to the priorities for public service reform in Wales, and report their findings next year.

Carl Sargeant said:

“I want these areas which are valued for their natural beauty to be thriving living landscapes containing vibrant, resilient communities, opportunities for outdoor recreation and rich ecosystems.

“I am pleased that the report has sought to reflect the demands of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and Environment Bill to connect and increase social, economic and environmental benefits in these important areas.  

“The Panel have endorsed my view that a fresh approach to the national parks and AONBs is long overdue, and I agree with their summary that this is necessary to better respond to increasingly complex environmental challenges, inequalities in well-being and health, and to deliver more vibrant rural communities.”

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas added:

“I appreciate the unique opportunity to be the Independent chair of the Future Landscapes Working Group. I am very aware of the responsibility of working with the Minister for Natural Resources and the opportunity to serve these unique areas of our country.”



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Environment and countryside 30 October 2015 Environment Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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