Work starts on designating first new National Park in Wales since the 1950s
The Welsh Government has commissioned Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to evaluate the case for the first new National Park in Wales in almost 70 years.
The area being considered for National Park status centres on the existing Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the northeast.
NRW has established a team to lead on the designation, with their work including data and evidence gathering, and engagement with the local communities and other key stakeholders.
A decision on the park’s designation is expected within the next three years.
Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park is the newest of the three existing National Parks, having its designation confirmed on 17 April 1957.
Eryri (Snowdonia) was the first Nation Park in Wales, designated on 18 October 1951 followed by Pembrokeshire Coast National park on 12 February 1952.
The Project Manager for the evaluation Ash Pearce said: “NRW is the Designating Authority in Wales and must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to designate a new National Park.
“There is a statutory process to follow which was last completed in the 1950’s and took around a decade.
“This time we also need to take account of new information and new legislation, so we are incorporating principles of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR) into the procedure.
“With Welsh Government funding, a strong team and new technology, we aim to complete the process within the existing Senedd term (by 2026).
“The timeline is challenging, but we are also not prepared to compromise on providing robust evidence. There will be stakeholder engagement and a public consultation to ensure that we get the best result for the people of Wales.
“Once this is done, and if the evidence supports a designation, then a Designation Order will be submitted to the Welsh Government.
“Ministers will need to consider this and decide whether to confirm, refuse or vary the Order.
“If it’s confirmed in 2026, the Welsh Government will then establish Wales’s fourth National Park and the first in Wales for nearly 70 years!”.
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