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Work starts on designating first new National Park in Wales since the 1950s

03 Jun 2023 2 minute read
The Clwydian Range

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.

Sustainable Management

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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hdavies15
hdavies15
10 months ago

Elenydd would be a contender but has been scarred by turbines and their infrastructure.

Rob
Rob
10 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

The biggest industrialisation of Elenydd is, of course, the damming of the Elan, Claerwen, Rheidol and Towy rivers, followed by non-native forestry.

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I’d like to see Elenydd a bit more protected than it is but don’t think a National Park would help much. I’m not entirely convinced that the reservoirs are really industrialisation in the sense most people think although they are of course not a natural presence though. In any case their existence doesn’t in itself doesn’t preclude the creation of a national park. Eryri and the Bannau have significant numbers of reservoirs. Eryri also has a lot of quarrying, hydro electric and even a Nuclear power station. The national parks in Wales (and England) were never meant to be true… Read more »

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Thomas

Theoretically, AONBs have the same protection as National Parks, although the key difference is that National Parks have their own planning authority, whereas with AONBs planning sits with the existing local authority.

B.M. Weaver.
B.M. Weaver.
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob

There are of course a number of Dams with reservoirs in the Brecon Beacons National Park. We can never have large areas of true wilderness in a small country like Wales. What National Park status gives us is some control over planning, and of course publicity for tourism, which is essential to our economy.

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
10 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I don’t see it as a valid argument for not protecting a landscape, that it has had some alleged damage in the past, so therefore it should be open season on doing some more damage.

hdavies15
hdavies15
10 months ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Agreed. However the present state of affairs is a scandal when you consider the relatively short life of turbines and the mess that will come when decommissioned.

Ap Kenneth
10 months ago

What advantage does a National Park Designation have over AONB? The article does not make this clear. Will it stop Grouse shooting on Ruabon Mountain / Cefn-y-Fedw? Will an extra planning department solve anything? Do we need ever more visitors? Would National Resources Wales time be better employed sorting out the poisoning of the River Wye and River Dee from phosphates and nitrates?

B.M. Weaver.
B.M. Weaver.
10 months ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

I would argue that we need all the tourists we can get, as much of our economy is based on tourism; as for the pollution of the river Wye most of that is caused by farm run off; that certainly needs tackling! I had a caravan at Talgarth, situated between The Breco Beacons, and Hay on Wye for 14 years, the caravan sites situated in the area, certainly created much of the employment in the area. I now have a caravan near New Quay, in West Wales, and again tourism is a major employer in that area.

Last edited 10 months ago by B.M. Weaver.
Ann
Ann
10 months ago

Erioed wedi clywed am Clwydian range…. pa fynyddoedd mae nhw yn son amdanynt?

Paul Beglin
Paul Beglin
10 months ago

Sure local farmers are going to love this

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