Clwydian Range, NRW, c Flickr user arg flickr via CC BY . SLASH DrpiO

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Natural Beauty is lined up for possible national park status. Credit: Flickr user arg_flickr via CC BY 2.0,

Consultants wanted for new national park in Wales

A fourth national park was promised by Welsh Labour in its manifesto ahead of the 2021 Senedd election – and now, the ruling party’s promises are taking a step towards reality.

Natural Resources Wales is accepting tenders for a consultant who will help it decide where this fourth national park should be. The government has already said it is considering an area that is based around the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The position would see the environmental expert identify a series of different contenders, grouped together based on similarity in landscape and scale.

Each of these areas would then be evaluated based on its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. The consultant would then present this information – as well as a draft boundary for a possible park – to the NRW to consider in its decision of where to place the park.

NRW is accepting tenders until 15 March. The Welsh government organisation aims to award the contract on 2 April.

The national park would be the first created in Wales since 1957. The three existing national parks in Wales are Eryri, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Bannau Brycheiniog. Eryri National Park is also known as Snowdonia, while Bannau Brycheiniog is known as Brecon Beacons – the parks adopted Welsh names in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

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More rules and more regulations incoming from then Welsh government, which seems intent on regulating away any prospect of economic activity and investment. Mark my words, this is just a stalking horse for more control, more jobs funded by English taxpayers for those doing the controlling, and more disengagement by visitors and investors.

By Buyer Beware

Activity for activities sake? Plenty of natural beauty in Wales but really shouldn’t that be the fundamental reason for creating a national park rather than “just because I’d like another one don’t really care where”. Just feels like disingenuous reasoning.

By H

Fingers crossed that the National Park stretches down to the Welsh/English Border. Even better if a “cross country” National Park was made in a joint venture between England and Wales which could showcase its history and help to create a greater feeling of unity.

By BorderlandHopeful

I agree with H above – this seems an odd way of doing things. You make a National Park because you deem a particular area of the countryside particularly worthy of conservation – the Peak District, for example, because it was both beautiful and heavily pressurised by numbers of visitors from the adjacent cities. If the Welsh government thinks there is a bit of Wales which needs to be a National Park, then fine, designate one – but this appears to be making a National Park for the sake of having a National Park.

By John

Not sure the point of this it’s entirely unclear what landscape is under threat, that needs the very heavy hand of a National Park Authority.
It’s also entirely unclear how renaming Snowdonia, a highly recognised brand, and a place, helps economic growth particularly as most people who live in Wales don’t speak Welsh, and are increasingly miffed at being called out.
It probably makes sense in Room 27-8/9a in Cardiff.

By Owen Owen

Amazing backwards decision-making – decide four is the correct number of national parks, then go looking for a fourth to make up the numbers. Wales’ national parks are astonishingly slow at planning decisions, amazingly conservative (even by national park standards), absolutely nests of silliness. Not helpful for the landscape or the economy.

By Anonymous

This is a great idea and will help to protect and improve the Clwydians, however a true National Park needs to reduce hill farming which has a negative impact on the local environment and climate change and help the landscape to rewild while encouraging green job growth and tourism. Done right a new National Park could help wildlife, rewilding, create more jobs and reduce the local effects of climate change and conserve and help better interpret the hillforts. People who think its about control and the area isn’t worthy, obviously haven’t visited.

By GetItBuilt!

BorderlandHopeful – interesting idea, but are there any other examples of successful National Parks straddling national borders?

By Jack Mary Ann

GetItBuilt! – I agree, `done right’ there’s a great opportunity here.

By Jack Mary Ann

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