Proposed New North Wales National Park Consultation

A new National Park is proposed in North East Wales, with a formal consulation starting in September 2024. CLA Cymru held an event this week in Ruthin to discuss with Members their views and concerns.
National Park Meeting Ruthin
Ruthin Meeting with Members

Why a New National Park?

National Parks in the UK are designated areas with two primary purposes: to conserve and enhance natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural heritage, and to promote opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment of these qualities. These parks are considered of special value to the nation, providing protected landscapes for both conservation and recreation.

Why a New National Park in North East Wales?

The proposal to establish a new National Park in North East Wales aims to protect and manage the region's unique natural and cultural resources. This initiative is part of a broader effort to ensure sustainable land use, enhance biodiversity, and provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The creation of this park is seen as a way to balance environmental conservation with the needs of local communities and the economy. However, there are clear challenges and concerns from locals about the need, funding and infrastructure of another park that could potentially lock borders with neighbouring Eryri (Snowdonia).

CLA Cymru's Approach

On 29th April 2024, CLA Cymru hosted a meeting at Ruthin Rugby Club to discuss the proposed National Park. The event was well-attended, reflecting strong community interest and engagement. The meeting aimed to gather facts, inform members of what we know to date, and collect initial feedback on the proposal.

Key Activities at the Meeting:

  1. Introduction to National Parks: Sarah James, Policy Advisor at CLA Cymru, and Fraser McAulay, Senior Policy Advisor, provided an overview of what National Parks are and their significance in preserving landscapes and supporting local communities.
  2. Expert Insights: Richard Sumner from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Rosemarie Harris, a former leader of Powys County Council and member of the Brecon Beacons National Park board, shared their perspectives. They discussed the importance of balancing conservation efforts with the needs of rural communities and highlighted potential challenges and opportunities.
  3. Community Feedback: The meeting provided a platform for members to voice their concerns and suggestions. Key issues raised included the impact of increased tourism on local infrastructure, housing market pressures due to second home legislation, and the need for better public transport and services. The team at CLA Cymru have also created a questionnaire which aim to gather facts to inform the future Consultation.

Initial Feedback

The feedback from the meeting revealed a mix of support and concerns among members. While there is recognition of the potential benefits of a National Park. Following the meeting, several actions have been outlined to ensure thorough consultation and informed decision-making:

  1. Public Consultation: Natural Resources Wales will launch a public consultation on the proposed area map from September 2nd to November 8th, 2024. This consultation will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to share their views.
  2. Evidence Gathering: CLA Cymru will continue to collect feedback through questionnaires and direct engagement with members. This information will be crucial in shaping a detailed report ahead of the formal consultation.
  3. Further Engagement: CLA Cymru plans to participate in various events, including the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) show, to further inform and engage with members about the National Park proposal.

Victoria Bond, Director of CLA Cymru, expressed the association's commitment to balanced and informed decision-making regarding the proposed National Park:

"We recognise the significance of conserving our precious landscapes while ensuring the needs and livelihoods of local communities are respected. The proposal for a new National Park in North East Wales presents both opportunities and challenges. Our goal is to gather comprehensive feedback from our members and stakeholders to ensure that any decisions made are well-informed and consider the diverse interests of all parties involved. This process is crucial in achieving a harmonious balance between environmental conservation and sustainable rural development."

CLA Cymru Director, Victoria Bond

For more information and to get involved, please contact CLA Cymru at or visit our website.

Key contact:

Sarah James
Sarah James Policy and Engagement Adviser, CLA Cymru