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Parks given vote of confidence.

Byline: MATT WITHERS

AN overwhelming majority of Welsh people believe that national parks are valuable assets worth protecting.

According to a new poll, released to coincide with the first National Parks Week, there was 95% public support for Britain's most protected landscapes.

Chairman of the Welsh Association of National Park Authorities Meirion Thomas said: ``National parks are vital, both in terms of conserving our finest landscapes for generations to come, the opportunities they provide for open-air recreation and enjoyment, and the economic value that this provides.

``This new survey shows strong support for, and increased knowledge about, our national parks.

``Our National Parks are beautiful landscapes that belong to all of us, however urban or suburban our lives.

``The more sophisticated our lives become, the more we seem to need the unspoilt countryside that remains.

``The many events being held to celebrate National Parks' Week are an ideal opportunity for the public to experience and enjoy, and in some cases discover, these priceless national treasures. ''

Britain's National Parks were created in 1949 to preserve and enhance the countryside's natural beauty, and to encourage open-air recreation.

Ten of the existing National Parks -- including the three in Wales: Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia -- were created during the 1950s as a result of this Act.

It was announced earlier this week that the New Forest -- located between Southampton and Bournemouth -- is to become the UK's 13th National Park, the first to be designated in almost 50 years.

As part of the National Parks' Week, S4C's Wedi Saith and S4C digidol's P'nawn Da will be featuring items on some of the events being held in Wales.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:273
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