National parks face major cuts in funding

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ENGLAND’S national parks have lost millions of pounds in public funding in the past five years, new figures show.

With the exception of the South Downs, which only became operational in 2011, national parks have had funding cut by a quarter since 2010, losing a total of £10m overall.

A Press Association investigation has revealed that, in spite of promises to protect funds for national parks in the coming years, many across the country will be receiving significantly less in government grants by 2020 than a decade earlier.

Funding for the South Downs was at its highest in 2011/2012, at just under £11.4m.

But its funding has fallen since then to just under £9.8m in the last financial year.

Fiona Howie, the campaign charity’s chief executive, said that the national parks were created to recognise and protect the beautiful areas rich in wildlife and culture, and the organisation welcomed the government’s aspiration for more people to benefit from them.