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National parks review could give Broads the opportunity to evolve

PUBLISHED: 15:37 28 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 28 May 2018

Five swans fly along the River Yare. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Five swans fly along the River Yare. Picture: Denise Bradley.

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An impending review into the country’s national parks has been hailed as a chance to boost the region’s very own natural wonder.

Norfolk Broads, National Park. Broads Tours at Wroxham.
Picture: Antony KellyNorfolk Broads, National Park. Broads Tours at Wroxham. Picture: Antony Kelly

Alongside treasures such as the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, the Broads is one of 10 English landscapes recognised for their exceptional beauty and conservation requirements.

That figure could soon grow after environment secretary Michael Gove announced that he is launching a review into the current network of parks, a move which could result in more areas of land being given national park status.

Mr Gove said the review will also consider “present-day challenges” that nature must contend with - 67 years after the first national parks were created.

Yare House on Thorpe Road, Norwich which is home to the Broads Authority. Picture: Simon FinlayYare House on Thorpe Road, Norwich which is home to the Broads Authority. Picture: Simon Finlay

And Haydn Thirtle, vice-chairman of the Broads Authority, said the evaluation has the potential to help one of the jewels in Norfolk and Suffolk’s crown to evolve in an entirely positive direction.

“I personally think this review is a good thing and a wonderful opportunity, because the profile of the Broads will be increased and national parks will be seen as far more important,” said Mr Thirtle, who is also a Norfolk county councillor.

“Of course, we appreciate there is a lot of pressure on national parks and we don’t want the Broads to be spoiled, but we want people to come and appreciate it for what it is.

An afternoon on the Norfolk Broads - Thurne Dyke Mill on the river Thurne. Picture: Ian BurtAn afternoon on the Norfolk Broads - Thurne Dyke Mill on the river Thurne. Picture: Ian Burt

“Like many of the other parks, there is so much more to the Broads than just tourism.

“Conservation, farming, navigation - they are all paramount and nowadays we are even demonstrating how we operate to people in other nations.”

The individual asked to 
conduct the review is Julian Glover, a journalist who previously served as a government advisor and speechwriter to David Cameron.

Mr Glover has been tasked with finding ways of improving the protection on offer to landscapes.

However another Broads Authority member, Lana Hempsall, has urged caution in his approach.

“Without a doubt, we need to strengthen the relationship we have with people who live on our national parks,” said Mrs Hempsall.

“That is an issue across the country and we need the work of people who live on the parks to keep them going.

“The important question is whether those overseeing the review are going to be pragmatic. If so, we might be able to find solutions.”

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