Dorset CPRE supports the designation of a Dorset National Park
Getting out and about around Dorset's outstanding countryside and coast, and our towns and villages, is a tonic and a boost to our health and wellbeing, whatever the season or the weather – says Dorset CPRE. National research finds that having access to the countryside and green spaces is important for physical and mental health, and CPRE supports calls by the Rural Services Network and others for more sustainable and public transport provision to help both residents and visitors to access and enjoy the countryside.
Dorset CPRE supports the creation of a Dorset National Park and believes that all of rural Dorset would benefit. In its evidence to the government-appointed Glover Review of Designated Landscapes, Dorset CPRE said:
A Dorset National Park would work for and benefit the whole of rural Dorset. It would bring additional resources and support the Dorset Council, in partnership with other stakeholders, to deliver on the environment and heritage, biodiversity and natural capital. The Dorset Council and the NP would work together on a shared agenda for living, working, thriving, resilient and sustainable communities, countryside and rural economy throughout rural Dorset. A NP would work with the Dorset Council, communities, farmers and landowners, to promote appropriate development, including housing for local people and truly affordable homes, and relevant economic development that rural Dorset needs. It could work with farmers and landowners to deliver locally relevant farm funding and develop a coherent tourism strategy to help spread the season and benefit parts of Dorset that are under-appreciated as well as help manage tourism pressures, e.g. at coastal hot-spots.
Subject to Natural England's detailed assessment, Dorset CPRE would wish the boundary of the National Park to be the new unitary authority of rural Dorset. This would include Thomas Hardy's Egdon Heath, the market towns of Sherborne and Sturminster Newton and their associated countryside, and the Isle of Portland.
For more information about Dorset CPRE, visit: http://www.dorset-cpre.org.uk