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Park boundaries may be extended.

THE boundaries of two North national parks could be extended, after the Government's conservation agency announced last night it was restarting work to identify possible new areas for protection.

Natural England Natural England is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the UK government. It was formed (vested) on 1 October 2006. It is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna, freshwater and marine environments, geology and soils, are  said there were large areas between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales The Yorkshire Dales (also known as the "Dales") is the name given to an upland area, in Northern England.

The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and Cumbria.
 National Parks which were worthy of landscape protection, but which are not currently formally protected at a national level.

The agency has restarted its work on designating new boundaries, which could include landscapes such as the Orton Fells and the fells from Shap to Whinfell, in the wake of the decision in favour of the South Downs National Park The South Downs National Park is a proposed National Park in the South Downs region of England, stretching for 90 miles, from Winchester in Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne in East Sussex in the east. .

The findings of the inspector conducting the public inquiry into the South

Downs supported the designation of a national park which covered different types of landscape.

Natural England said the clarification of legal uncertainties backed the agency's approach to designating areas for national protection.

It now wants to progress with work to extend the boundaries of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales "quickly, but thoroughly".

Natural England will consider a number of areas in Cumbria and Lancashire between the two national parks.

Poul Christensen, acting chairman of Natural England, said: "I am delighted that our work in reviewing parts of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park boundaries can now continue.

"It is fitting that as we celebrate 60 years of National Parks we now have a unique opportunity to look at a major expansion of two of England's most cherished protected areas." The areas under consideration are Birkbeck Fells to Whinfell; Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell; River Kent and around Levens; Orton Fells; Northern Howgill Fells The Howgill Fells are a small group of hills in Cumbria in northern England, bounded approximately by a triangle drawn between Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen and Tebay. The southern half of the Howgill Fells is in the north-west corner of the Yorkshire Dales national park although the ; Mallerstang and Wild Boar Fell Wild Boar Fell is a mountain (or more accurately a fell) in Mallerstang on the eastern edge of Cumbria, England. It lies just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is often also considered one of the far eastern Lakeland fells, and at 708m is either the 4th highest fell in ; Middleton, Barbon and Leck Fells; Firbank Fell; Lower Lune Valley and adjacent fells to the west; Kirkby Lonsdale area, and the area around Cold Cotes.

The conservation agency insisted it would be holding a full public consultation on the inclusion of new areas, and that any decisions would be subject to approval by the Environment Secretary.

The Lake District, which at 885 square miles is England's largest National Park, was designated in 1951 and attracts some 22 million days of visits a year..
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 4, 2009
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