Romney Marsh as a National Park?
Romney Marsh is a beautiful and unique area deserves recognition as one of the finest landscapes of its type in the Country. Designating the whole Marsh a National Park would help protect the area whilst simultaneously acknowledging its' rich environmental, natural and built cultural heritage
In the UK, National Parks are protected areas because of their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. People live and work in the National Parks and the farms, villages and towns are protected along with the landscape
and wildlife. National Parks welcome visitors and provide opportunities for everyone to experience, enjoy and learn about their special qualities. There are 15 such designated areas in the UK, including the Norfolk Boards, Yorkshire Dales and the South Downs.
Aims and Purposes of National Parks
The aims and purposes of National Parks are laid out by law. In England they are to:
- Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage
- Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of National Parks by the Public
- Seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Parks
As a protected area, a National Park has a clear boundary. It has people and laws that make sure that nature and wildlife are protected and that people can continue to benefit from nature without destroying it.
Each National Park is looked after by an organisation called a National Park Authority, which includes Members, staff and volunteers.
How to Become a National Park
Becoming a National Park is no easy task. The process is long, arduous and time consuming, typically taking over ten years.
A crucial starting point in becoming a National Park is to identify what makes Romney Marsh special - its special qualities.
Romney Marsh is a special place because it....
- is the largest coastal wetland on the south coast of England.
- thousands of years ago, Romney Marsh was just sea. It was formed my man reclaiming land from the sea.
- has a landscape, plants, invertebrates and birds of international importance
- has 14 historic medieval churches and sites/remains of 6 more
- contains the largest shingle landscapes in the world and Britains only desert
- has a third of the floa and fauna in UK
- is home to many rare species, including the Great-crested Newt, the Medicinal Leech, the Emperor Dragonfly and the Marsh Mallow Moth.
- contains areas of Sand dunes, important ecosystems supporting unique plant life and a healthy population of small animals and insects.
- is rich in the history and heritage of defending Britain over hundreds of years,
including Martello Towers, Royal Military Canal, Napoleonic Forts and Sound Mirrors.
- has enjoyable and accessible countryside where you can enjoy walking, cycling, fishing, horse riding, water based and other forms of sustainable recreation, adventure or relaxation.
- has three of the finest sandy beaches in the South East
- has parts of which are already protected by various designations such as Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.
- has a long history of sheep farming which has given rise to the distinct sheep breed 'The Romney' and heritage based on sheep management and sheep smuggling.
- is home to the to the reintroduction of the Short-haired Bumblebee, which was declared extinct in 2000.
- has a wealth of birdlife, with many sightings of rare species at Dungeness.
S.O.M.B.R.E (Save our Marsh Block Rural Exploitation) has launched a campaign to make Romney Marsh a National Park. The first step is the launch of a public consultation on the plan to gauge local support. Find out more at the S.O.M.B.R.E website.