Discussion document on National Marine Parks

The Blue Marine Foundation has recently published a report which considers the idea of National Marine Parks in the UK, and sets out proposals for how they might be established using local partnership models which build on current environmental protection designations.

Map of current landscape designations around the UK.
Current landscape designations highlighted in report (Blue Marine Foundation)

The report recognises the opportunities which the pandemic has brought around raised recognition of environmental issues, and the opportunities which communities have with connecting or re-connecting in enhanced ways with the natural environment to promote wellbeing and generate sustainable economic benefits.

The report also highlights the relatively limited connections which many coastal communities have with management of the blue resource adjacent to them currently, and flags Plymouth Sound National Marine Park as a potential management model for increasing and widening stakeholder engagement in dynamic ways. It also highlights success of the World Heritage Site designation for the Jurassic Coast, generating £111 million annually for the economies of Dorset and Devon.

Recognition is made of the deep heritage connections which coastal communities have with the sea, and the proposed sites for National Marine Parks build on the distinct natural and cultural characteristics of these locations around the country.

The labelling of an area brings recognition and discussion, and the report’s proposals for National Marine Parks is an intriguing prospect which I hope will gain traction.

Sector knowledge: Landscape Research

Landscape research coverJournal Summary: Landscape Research, the peer-reviewed journal of the Landscape Research Group, is a dedicated international forum for debating landscape. The journal is distinctive in its combining of high-quality and innovative research papers with reflective critiques of landscape practice.
Contributions to the journal appeal to a wide academic and professional readership and reach an interdisciplinary and international audience. Whilst unified by a focus on landscape, the coverage of Landscape Research is wide ranging. The journal therefore encourages submissions from a range of disciplines, including environmental conservation, geography (human and physical), landscape architecture, archaeology, history, anthropology, urban studies, planning, design, heritage studies, ecology, countryside management, cultural studies and forestry.
Publisher: Routledge
Access: Subscription; some open access
Journal Type: Academic peer reviewed