Businesses invited to help secure future of national parks

Businesses are being invited from today to team up with the Broads Authority and the 14 other members of the national park family to help ensure the long term sustainability of these unique areas.

A new organisation – the National Parks Partnerships (NPP) – is launched today to develop corporate partnerships that will help enhance the quality and use of the parks – known as Britain’s breathing spaces – now and for future generations.

The NPP is led by a Board of Directors comprising senior executives volunteering from the private sector and key commercial leaders from the UK parks, including Sir Peter Dixon, vice chairman of the Broads Authority.

 NPP Board Chairman Steve Curl said: “Government and the general public provide important support to the national parks but we need additional commitments to make sure that they are not only sustained but enhanced for future generations.

“Partnership with responsible businesses – without commercialisation – can deliver the support needed to secure benefits for national parks and for the massive number of visitors from the UK and overseas, local communities and the environment.”

 In an NPP survey on the future of the UK’s national parks, nearly half of the 2,000 people consulted said they were concerned that the special areas would deteriorate if funding levels reduced in coming years.

Just over two thirds strongly agreed that children needed to get active in the great outdoors and become real kids again, and that everyone should have the basic right to access nature in green spaces, fresh air and places like the national parks while 85% say that their perception of a large company would improve if it provided them with support.

Steve said: “At a time when children are being encouraged to play more outdoors and we all recognise the importance of being active, companies can facilitate engagement from their own employees and all sections of the public through health and well-being, conservation and other initiatives.

“We believe this will also bring substantial business benefits to partner companies – a real win-win.”

John Packman, Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, said : “The Authority really welcomes the launch of the National Parks Partnership. The UK’s 15 national parks are so vital to the nation’s health and wellbeing and its economy and we are sure that organisations recognise this and will want to be involved in securing their long term future.”

Current NPP plans for major partnerships include:

  • an 'Active Parks Partner' to jointly promote health and wellbeing activities within the national parks
  • a 'Parks Discovery Partner' to help provide for children who would not normally get the chance to have educational experiences in 'outdoor classrooms' in national parks
  • an official outdoor clothing supplier to the UK’s 255 national park Rangers
  • a national funder for the 'Miles without Stiles' programme that creates and maintains accessible paths throughout the national parks
  • opportunities to collaborate on environmental initiatives including sustainable transport, water and carbon management.

The mission of the UK national parks is to conserve their natural beauty, promote public understanding and enjoyment and, in doing so, foster the economic and social development of local communities. In addition the Broads Authority has a responsibility to maintain navigation. Between them, they have 110 million visitors a year with an annual visitor spend of £5.5bn. Half the people in England live within one hours’ drive of a national park.
The survey was conducted across the UK last month (April).

For more information, please call:

The National Parks Partnerships

Naomi Conway 07950 392979

Hudson Sandler

Alex Clelland/Bertie Berger 020 7796 4133

Monday 9 May 2016