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New national park: Everything we know about where site could be

A full list of possible sites for the national park will be considered by Natural England.

The Cotswolds is one of the areas under consideration for a new national park. (Getty)
The Cotswolds is one of the areas under consideration for a new national park. (Getty)

The search is on for a new national park for England after the government announced a new set of "nature pledges" to give greater access to the countryside.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced the plan along with protection for urban wildlife havens and trees.

It comes after the Conservatives pledged to create a new national park in their 2019 manifesto.

Sunak stressed that he wanted to protect nature in towns and cities and create more parks so that more people could “enjoy nature”.

It follows figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that the time Britons spend in the natural world has fallen since the COVID pandemic.

Typical English countryside landscape from Swaledale Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Dales is one of England’s 10 national parks. (Getty)

A full list of possible sites for the national park will be considered by Natural England.

However, environment secretary Steve Barclay told ITV’s Good Morning Britain he wants it close to an urban area to maximise public access.

He said: “I think one of the things we’re looking at is perhaps access to national parks and whether it should be nearer to some urban centres, and I was talking to the chief exec of Natural England about this last night.

“So we’re very open that it’s not that the government is going to decide where this is.”

The package also includes a competition for a new national forest and 34 new landscape recovery projects across England.

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How many national parks are there in the UK?

National parks are predominately privately-owned and cover large areas of land that are protected by law for the benefit of the nation.

They are intended to conserve and enhance our natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.

In total there are 15 national parks across England, Wales and Scotland.

England accounts for the most national parks, with 10 that cover 10% of the country.

Wales contains three national parks, which cover 20% of the country.

In Scotland, 7.3% of the land area is covered by its two national parks.

View looking southwest along the trail to Pen Y Fan and Corn Du toward the drained Upper Neuadd Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Powys, Wales, UK.
Wales has three national parks, including the Brecon Beacons. (Getty)

Where are the national parks in the UK?

The national parks in England are:

  • The Peak District

  • The Lake District

  • Dartmoor

  • North York Moors

  • Yorkshire Dales

  • Exmoor

  • Northumberland Border Moors and Forests

  • The Norfolk Broads

  • New Forest

  • South Downs

The national parks in Wales are:

  • Snowdonia

  • Pembrokeshire Coast

  • Brecon Beacons

The national parks in Scotland are:

  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

  • Cairngorms