MP for Newark Robert Jenrick has this week launched a campaign to designate the Vale of Belvoir an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Conservative politician said establishing the Vale, which includes Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire, as an AONB would boost tourism and improve access to the area.

He came up with the idea while out cycling from Bingham to Belvoir Castle with his family.

AONBs are areas of which have been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. There are 46 in Britain.

The sites enjoy levels of protection from development similar to those of national parks but do not have their own planning powers.

Mr Jenrick, who has been MP for Newark since 2014, said: “A new Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty would draw together this wonderful area in a concerted effort to improve access, attract visitors and preserve the countryside and historic villages.

Improve Tourism

Mr Jenrick intends to meet Michael Gove shortly to discuss the plan and to bring together other local MPs and council leaders, as well as stakeholders such as local wildlife trusts and the Duchess of Rutland who manages the Belvoir Castle estate.

He said everyone he has spoken to since about it has been extremely positive and excited.

It would link increased efforts to market Newark since the opening of the National Civil War Centre with the restoration of the Capability Brown landscape of Belvoir Castle, as well as the forthcoming opening of new restaurant and shopping facilities there, while also catering for the upsurge in interest in cycling throughout the Vale.

Mr Jenrick added: “I have loved the Vale ever since coming to the East Midlands and since then I’ve also been in search of a way to bring together and enhance our marketing of the area to the outside world.

“A new Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the Vale does that and would enhance and protect our area for future generations.”

 

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