Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty welcomes Michael Gove’s plans for a sweeping review of protected landscapes


(c) Barry Gamble
(c) Barry Gamble


In a Government announcement at the end of May, Environment Secretary Michael Gove committed to conserve and enhance England’s finest landscapes as he launched a review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Part of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, an independent panel will look at how these areas meet our needs in the 21st century – including whether there is scope for the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 National Parks to expand.  The review, to be led by writer Julian Glover, will also explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.


Weakening or undermining their existing protections or geographic scope will not be part of the review, which will instead focus on how designated areas can boost wildlife, support the recovery of natural habitats and connect more people with nature.


The Tamar Valley AONB straddles the border of Cornwall and Devon, and was designated in 1995, making it the UK’s youngest AONB.


Chairman of Tamar Valley AONB Partnership, Cllr Neil Burden, said, “We welcome this initiative and look forward to some early consultations. The continued acknowledgement and support of designated landscape areas by the successive Minister and the Secretary of State are much appreciated“.