Broads National Park branding under discussion

Horsey MillBroads Authority members will be deciding whether to consult on branding the area the 'Broads National Park'.

The Broads has an equivalent status to the 14 national parks in the UK but with the additional responsibility of maintaining the navigation area.

Currently the area is identified as a member of the National Park family but Authority officers and many stakeholders feel this does not make the special status of the Broads clear and causes further questions and confusion, especially when other organisations use the term Broads National Park.

Broads Authority Chief Executive Dr John Packman is now asking members whether the time is right to make better use of the National Park identity to better promote the area and give a clearer picture of its special status.

The consultation document and report states that if implemented the proposal will not result in a formal change in name or legal status of the Broads or the Authority and the Authority's three purposes will continue to be given equal weight.

Dr Packman said: "In 1989 the Broads was given status equivalent to a national park but has been unable to capitalise on all the benefits because of confusion about the way the area is referred to.

"Twenty-five years on and in the present economic climate it is critical for the future of the Broads and its special qualities to make the most of our status as a national park.

"We want more people to enjoy, respect and understand the Broads, particularly younger generations who are the key to the future of the tourism economy and the profile of the area, and we would like to attract more overseas visitors."

The consultation document will be discussed by Broads Authority members on Friday 26 September. Here you can find the Broads Authority committee report.

If members approve the proposal for consultation with key stakeholder organisations this will take place over the following three months with a final decision on whether to use the branding taken by Authority members in January.

The three Broads Authority purposes relate to conservation, recreation and navigation. These have equal weight in any decisions made by the Authority and this will continue to be the case if Broads National Park is used for branding.

Other English national parks only have the two purposes of conservation and recreation and, under the Sandford principle, give greater weight to conservation if there is a conflict between the two. This is not a concern in the consultation however because the proposal does not entail a legislative or formal name change, the weighting between our three purposes will remain equal.

For further information contact: Lorna Marsh on 01603 756040.

Friday 19 September 2014