Today marks a very special occasion when all designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in England and Wales – including the Forest of Bowland – become National Landscapes.
This new designation recognises the vital role our 46 National Landscapes play in access, recreation, wellbeing, connecting communities and nature recovery.
National Landscapes teams have been at the forefront of delivering natural solutions to the main challenges facing the nation for many years. The new brand underscores their commitment to redoubling their efforts and engaging with a wider audience.
By 2030, National Landscapes have set ambitious goals for nature recovery so that within their boundaries: 100,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat will be created or restored – roughly nine times the size of Manchester; and 36,000 hectares of woodland – an area slightly smaller than the Isle of Wight – will have been planted or allowed to regenerate.
From the Isles of Scilly to the Scottish Border, National Landscapes Partnerships will also focus on habitat restoration to ensure the protection of some of our most endangered species and increase their work to help more people to enjoy time spent in beautiful places.
Because of their size and scope, National Landscapes are ideally positioned to address the environmental issues the UK is facing. There are 46 National Landscapes in the UK, covering 14 per cent of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and comprising moorland, farmland, coast, forests, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves, a Geopark and International Dark Sky Reserves.
National Landscapes like the Forest of Bowland are the UK’s ‘nearby countryside’ – with 66 per cent of people in England (44 million) living within 30 minutes of a National Landscape and at least 170 million people visiting them every year.
Elliott Lorimer, Partnership Manager for Forest of Bowland National Landscape said:
“Our new ‘Forest of Bowland National Landscape’ name feels like a real step-change in terms of both the profile and the ambition for the designation and Partnership as a whole. For too long, the AONB designation and the Partnerships working in these areas have not always received the national recognition that they deserve.
“This renaming not only sets this record straight, but also presents an opportunity for National Landscapes to set out how we can go further and faster in addressing the great challenges of our time – climate change, the loss of nature and supporting equity of access for all people to these special places.”
22nd November 2023