State of the National Park Report 2021
The State of the National Park Report 2021 provides a snapshot of the overall health of Northumberland National Park and provides an update of the progress in delivering the aims and objectives of the Northumberland National Park Management Plan 2016-2021.
The Management Plan was developed in close consultation with the communities, businesses and organisations that have an interest in the National Park; these make up the Management Plan Partnership. The Plan represents a shared vision for the place, and this is therefore a report on the special qualities of the park, how these qualities are enjoyed, and by whom, and on the economic and social wellbeing of the park communities.
The report is structured in line with the five Aims of the National Park Management Plan:
- A Welcoming Park
- A Distinctive Place
- A Living, Working Landscape for Now and the Future
- Thriving Communities
- A Valued Asset
Each section provides a comprehensive update on the achievements of the Management Plan Partnership in delivering each of the 16 primary outcomes.
The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has meant that the decision has been made to extend the State of the Park monitoring until we are able to approve the next iteration of the Management Plan, this is scheduled to be in 2022.
Whilst this year’s State of the National Park report reflects outcomes affected by the impact of Covid-19, it should be noted that significant positive impact has been made in several key areas. Targets and aims are distributed evenly with 8 (50%) of its outcomes achieving a ‘good’ performance while 8 outcomes are ‘acceptable’. There has been a drop of 25% in the number of outcomes rated ‘Good’ and there are currently 7 with a trend which is currently unknown.
This uncertainty is caused by the sudden and significant impact of the pandemic in March 2020. Currently this drop in performance is assumed to be temporary rather than a trend indicator. Many of the ‘Acceptable’ areas within the report should also be read with assumption that negative impacts on the local economy, engagement and project work will be short lived and are not representative of the long-term change in the National Park, in fact we are already seeing a positive recovery in many of these areas
I trust you will find this report of interest and I would welcome your feedback on any aspects of the report.
Tony Gates, Chief Executive (National Park Officer)