Wales’s New National Park Proposal

Opens 7 Oct 2024

Closes 16 Dec 2024


Last updated on Thursday 11 July 2024.

To view the page in Welsh, please click here.

In its Programme for Government (2021-2026), Welsh Government sets out its intention to designate a new National Park in Wales based on the existing Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONB (Now known as a ‘National Landscape’). If established, it would be the fourth National Park in Wales, and the first since 1957.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the Welsh Government’s statutory adviser on landscape and natural beauty and the designating authority for any new National Parks and National Landscapes. Welsh Government has commissioned NRW to evaluate the case for the proposed new National Park.

NRW is independent and will make an evidence-based recommendation for the benefit of the people of Wales, accounting for all relevant legislation. We have prepared procedural guidance setting out the statutory process that must be followed. It is evidence led and allows for engagement with all stakeholders.

The process will reflect the Welsh legislative and policy framework through the application of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR) principles with a focus on nature recovery and climate adaptation and mitigation. 

The assessment procedure will decide if the evidence demonstrates that the statutory criteria relating to natural beauty and opportunities for open-air recreation are met, and if the area is of sufficient national significance that National Park purposes should apply. The procedure will also allow for consultation and ensure opportunity to adjust the proposals such that benefits are maximised and potential disbenefits can be avoided.

On completion of the assessment procedure, If NRW considers that Designation is desirable for the people of Wales, (both current and future generations), then a Designation order will be submitted to Welsh Government. Welsh Government will consider this and decide to either confirm, refuse, or vary the Designation Order. If confirmed, a new National Park will be created.

The assessment will take place within the existing Senedd term (2021-2026). 

Further details can be found in the infographic below.

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What you told us:

In October and November 2023, we held an early engagement period to share the study area and listen to your views. The engagement period was publicised through our webpage, social media outlets plus local print and national news coverage on both the ITV and BBC evening news programmes.

We were delighted to speak to over seven hundred people (619 in person and 105 online). We also received 966 questionnaire responses. We have carefully gone through the responses and a summary report is available below.

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What else have we been doing?

In parallel with and informed by the feedback we received; the statutory assessment procedure has continued. Two advisory groups have now been established and are meeting regularly. We are pleased that all five of the potentially affected Local Authorities are participating in the advisory groups.

  • Technical Advisory Group - Meeting every two months to discuss evidence and practical issues with relevant officers.
  • Management Advisory Group - Meeting quarterly for updates and to discuss strategic considerations with senior representatives.

We have completed a series of studies with the assistance of specialist landscape consultants. Firstly, Craggattak Consulting evaluated and identified the special qualities within the study area that a new National Park would have a responsibility to conserve, protect and enhance.

Then, Land Use Consultants (LUC) Limited assessed the ‘Forces for Change’ (the existing dynamic influences that affect the special qualities). LUC then also competed an assessment of the Management Options, which compared how well different options could manage these forces to achieve the best outcomes.

The options considered included:

  • No change.
  • A National Landscape (AONB) conservation board over a larger area.
  • Alternative models such as the Valleys and South Pennines Regional parks
  • A National Park

Finally, the landscape consultant Gillespie’s LLP was commissioned to complete an impartial and detailed landscape evaluation of the study area. This work will clarify if a suitable area of land meets the statutory requirements for designation as a National Park or National Landscape. It will also provide a proposed boundary.  We are also working with Welsh Government to resolve questions raised by stakeholders and gain clarity on the funding arrangements that would apply to a designation.


What happens next?

The detailed landscape assessment and a proposed boundary map will be completed this summer. A public consultation will then begin and remain open throughout the Autumn of 2024.

You will be able to view our map, studies and evidence, talk to the team and share your views via a consultation response form.

We want to listen again and make any further changes needed in 2025.

In the Autumn of 2025, there will be a third and final opportunity to have your say on the finished product before it’s submitted to Welsh Government for a decision.


Consultation 2024

We are currently confirming dates and venues. A series of events throughout the Autumn will be announced here later in the summer:

Please watch this space…


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), please click here

The FAQs will be added to as the project progresses, and further questions are asked.


Contact us.

We will post new information here and occasionally email notification of updates. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, or if you need to contact one of the team, then please email us at:

This activity will open on 7 Oct 2024. Please come back on or after this date to give us your views.


  • Clwydian Range and Dee Valley


  • Citizens


  • Community Engagement