Broads Plan 2022 - 2027

Previous section: Introduction

2. Vision and principles

Yellow (Flag) Iris, by Tom Barrett

2.1 Long-term vision | 2.2 Fundamental principles

2.1 Long-term vision

The Vision for the Broads National Park (Table 1) is based on Defra’s vision for protected landscapes: ‘A coherent national network of beautiful, nature-rich spaces that all parts of society can easily access and enjoy. Protected landscapes will  support thriving local communities and economies, improve our public health and wellbeing, drive forward nature recovery, and build our resilience to climate change9. Our vision has a timeframe in line with the 25-year Environment Plan.

Table 1
Vision for the Broads National Park to 2042

Our vision for the Broads National Park is that:

Biodiversity is at the heart of nature recovery. Our natural environment and the beneficial goods, services and cultural values it provides from food and energy to landscape character and recreation are in good condition, used fairly and sustainably, and valued by society. In particular, the precious nature of plentiful, clean, fresh water as a fundamental resource is understood and respected by all.

We are meeting the challenges of climate change and sea level rise, and the carbon reduction targets of ‘net zero’ by 2040, with well-maintained soils that retain and increase stored carbon.

Wildlife is flourishing and habitats are maintained, restored and expanded. Land and water are managed in an integrated way, with local and landscape-scale management that creates resilience and space for nature and agriculture, enabling us to adapt to changing environmental, economic and social needs. The area’s environmental history is better appreciated through understanding its sediments, rocks and landforms.

The past and present importance of the waterways for navigation, biodiversity and recreation is recognised and cherished, and the asset is protected, maintained and enhanced.

This living, working, ‘big skies’ landscape is notable for its natural beauty, distinctive local character and historic significance. People of all ages, abilities and circumstances enjoy it as a place to live and work, as a place of escape, adventure, learning and tranquillity, and as a source of national pride and identity. Local communities are active in decisions about their future, and sustainable living is seen in action. There is a buoyant rural economy and a viable, well-used public transport network, and local housing need is being met.

The Broads National Park is forever recognised as fundamental to our prosperity and our mental and physical health and wellbeing, and is forever treasured as a unique and special place that provides a breathing space for the cure of souls.

2.2 Fundamental principles

In implementing and reviewing the Broads Plan, we support the five environmental principles set out under Section 17(5) of the Environment Act 2021:

  • The integration principle states that policy-makers should look for opportunities to embed environmental protection in other fields of policy that have impacts on the environment;
  • The prevention principle means that government policy should aim to prevent environmental harm;
  • The rectification at source principle means that any environmental damage should, as a priority, be addressed at its origin to avoid the need to remedy its effects later;
  • The polluter pays principle makes clear that those who cause environmental damage should be responsible for mitigation or compensation; and
  • The precautionary principle states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, a lack of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

We also support the following principles:

  • To plan and work in partnership to make the best use of shared knowledge and resources, and to avoid duplication of effort;
  • To involve people from an early stage, and throughout, in decisions that may interest or affect them; and
  • To support decisions with robust evidence, including scientific and local knowledge, innovation and best practice.

Next section: Theme A - Responding to climate change and flood risk

9 - Landscapes Review (National Parks and AONBs): Government response - GOV.UK (