Thriving Communities - Outcome 4.1

Outcome 4.1: The communities in and around the National Park have a strong connection to, and appreciation of, the National Park and are fully engaged in shaping its future.

Target – To increase understanding of the distinctive natural and cultural qualities of the National Park, so that communities have strong connections and a recognisable sense of identity and to ensure greater levels of community engagement in local decision-making so that people can contribute to the future well-being of the National Park.

Performance – Good

Trend – Improving

Impact – The adoption of the Local Plan in 2020 aims to have a lasting positive impact on the ability of communities to develop and grow in a sustainable manner. The Authority continues to work with community groups that wish to develop neighbourhood plans, most recently in Wooler. In the latter half of 2020 and throughout 2021 we welcomed back the support of our volunteers who aided our Rangers through site monitoring, maintenance and visitor engagement. Our increased presence on the ground during this time received very positive feedback from our new and returning visitors.

During 2021, the next iteration of our Management Plan has been developed through consultation with partner organisations and the general public. The revised Management plan is set to be published in December 2022.

Key Points

  • The publication of the Local Plan adopted in 2020 sees strong policy support for more people of working age living within the park.
  • The Authority is also working with communities that wish to develop Neighbourhood Plans.
  • Visits to the National Park website have increased 24% year on year.
  • We continue our work with community groups, regional schools and business groups to ensure they recognise the importance of NNP. The Authority has a £20,000 community fund to contribute towards Covid-19 recovery and climate change projects within the National Park.
  • Increasing number and diversity of volunteering opportunities with the National Park.