National Parks - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:18 pm on 18 January 2023.

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Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:18, 18 January 2023

I entirely agree with the noble Earl about the value that our protected landscapes bring to our policies, not only on climate mitigation but on reversing the tragic decline in species. We have increased spending on areas of outstanding natural beauty by 15% this year. I concede that inflationary pressures are challenging for all protected landscapes but I urge him to look at the other areas of funding that we are providing. As I mentioned earlier, the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has 1,800 projects, benefiting climate and nature right across our protected landscapes. Large amounts of our £750 million Nature for Climate Fund will be spent in our protected landscapes, because that is where 60% of our peat is and where 50% of our SSSIs are. That is where the focus of that fund will go. In addition to that, we have private and blended finance that national parks are very well able to get.