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 Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Labour 3:18, 18 January 2023

My Lords, I declare an interest on national parks as in the register. Returning to the 40% cut in real terms that national parks have received over the last decade—at a time, I should say, when they have never been more popular or had more demand on their services—the Minister has talked about other funds that are going into the national parks, but does he accept that that is not core funding and is going to other organisations in the parks? It is the national parks themselves—the rangers, the services and the visitor centres—that are core to providing a good visitor experience and encouraging more people to go into the parks. Does he accept that we should be more ambitious about the role that national parks can play? If we are to do that then they will need more core funding, not the supplementary funding that the Minister is talking about.