Campaign for National Parks chief executive Fiona Howie

Campaign for National Parks chief executive Fiona Howie

The new head of a campaigning body said cuts to national parks’ budgets must stop.

Fiona Howie said authorities in England and Wales should be given greater long-term financial security to enable them to conserve and enhance the country’s most precious landscapes.

Ms Howie has been appointed chief executive of the Campaign for National Parks, which describes itself as an independent national voice for the 13 national parks in England and Wales.

Authorities south of the border have faced cash cuts of up to 40 per cent imposed by the outgoing coalition Government.

Ms Howie said she wanted to see the next Westminster government provide a long-term commitment to funding national park authorities properly and an immediate end to their budget cuts.

“National parks are under enormous threats, not just from substantial cuts to their budget, but also from road building schemes and major infrastructure developments, such as the application in the North York Moors for the world’s largest potash mine.

“We need to concentrate hearts and minds on a sustainable long-term financial model for national parks to ensure they remain thriving living landscapes that are home to diverse communities in the 21st century.”

She joins the CNP after five years as head of planning at the Campaign to Protect Rural England. She said she was looking forward to meeting representatives of the Alliance for National Parks Cymru.

“These are also challenging times for national parks in Wales, where significant changes to their management and governance are currently being considered,” she said. “We will be submitting evidence to the independent review of designated landscapes, arguing strongly for national park authorities to retain their planning powers so they can continue to conserve and enhance these special places for future generations to enjoy.”

Campaign for National Parks chairman Anne Robinson welcomed Ms Howie. She said: “Fiona has a proven track record as a campaigner and will be able to advocate and champion CNP’s interests at the national level to a wide variety of decision makers.

“Her experience as an effective fundraiser will also prove invaluable in developing CNP’s fundraising potential.

“CNP needed an inspirational individual to forge and shape the national debate on the future of our national parks at a time when they face pressures like never before. We were searching for a leader to motivate people, someone with passion, enthusiasm, foresight and vision.

“We found one in Fiona.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. England’s national parks hit by 28 per cent cuts
  2. Ex-Irish finance boss Simon Skinner appointed chief of National Trust of Scotland
  3. Ramblers staff face the boot as cash crisis hits charity
  4. Petition calls on Westminster to save outdoor education centres
  5. Drystone-walling scheme takes prize in Park Protectors’ contest