The southern Darwin’s frog at risk of losing its rainforest habitat
S hould we improve the way we manage our National Parks (NPs) for wildlife? That’s one thing a government review of England’s most cherished landscapes is asking, as post-Brexit changes to the way farming is subsidised come closer.
A report published by the Campaign for National Parks in June 2018 stated that, while our national parks (and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) are important for wildlife, they ‘are not bucking the national trends of decline in species and the degradation of habitats.’
One idea suggested in the report was for authorities to identify areas within parks where ‘natural processes support more robust, functional ecosystems’ – partial rewilding, in other words.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s head of living landscapes, Tim Birch, says he wants to see the Peak District NP become much wilder, because at the moment it is clear that biodiversity is not doing well.
“Look what they’ve done with the Wild Ennerdale project in the Lake District, he says. “They’ve taken sheep off the hill, brought in cattle, removed fences and it’s having a really positive impact for wildlife.”
Birch goes on to say: “We think there’s a massive opportunity to link people to wilder places in our national parks,” – and great opportunities for ecotourism, which has been so successful in relation to species such as white-tailed eagles on Mull. James Fair
Yorkshire Dales NP is just one of 15 National Parks across the UK.