Exmoor National Park faces painful cuts
Exmoor National Park Authority is considering urgent money-saving measures due to a funding gap.
Tough proposals will have to be considered, potentially impacting the ‘rights of way’ network, visitor and outdoor activity centres and staff who are a vital part of maintaining and protecting park resources and projects.
The National Park receives £1 million less grant funding than it did in 2010 and will have to make a further £500,000 worth of cuts by 2025, to deal with the spending gap.
Sarah Bryan, Exmoor National Park’s chief executive says: “these are really difficult times for us. We manage a beautiful landscape working with farmers and the local community, but the Authority now risks having to close up to two of our three visitor centres, make redundancies “right through the organisation” and no longer being able to manage 1,000km (620 miles) of paths.
Sarah continues "I've worked in National Parks for nearly 30 years, and I've never seen it anywhere near as bad as this."
The Authority could also be forced to sell land that belongs to the nation such as woodland and moorland and to increase charges in certain areas. This would be a huge disadvantage to people on low incomes who have found landscapes like this invaluable, particularly in the last few years during covid.
The average cost to visitors per year is relatively very little, but the benefits to physical and mental wellbeing are priceless”.
Exmoor National Park Authority works in partnership with the community, local councils, businesses and other organisations to look after the National Park and promote its conservation and enjoyment. Donations to CareMoor for Exmoor are gratefully received towards the upkeep of the National Park and its special qualities.
Published: 17 November 2022
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