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  1. ITV Report

Broads now known as the Broads National Park

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads will be now be known as the Broads National Park.

It follows a landmark decision by the Broads Authority which voted by an overwhelming majority to brand the area as a National Park.

During a three-month consultation exercise near 80% of people and organisations approved the proposal.

Chief Executive of the Broads Authority John Packman said he was "absolutely delighted" that the area would benefit from being clearly identified as a National Park.

"The National Park brand is internationally recognised and hugely appealing to visitors. It is shorthand for a place that is special, is properly looked after and deserves to be valued by everyone who visits and lives there.

"I am delighted that Authority members have approved this move. It means we will be more able to promote the special qualities of the Broads and highlight the importance of conservation plus increased interest in the Broads from visitors will help support the boating industry."

– John Packman, Chief Executive, Broads Authority
The windmill at Turf Fen on the River Ant near Ludham in Norfolk in the Broads National Park. Credit: Paul Sutcliffe

The Authority will now use the name to refer to the Broads with immediate effect.

For 25 years the Broads has had equivalent status to a National Park. The other National Parks, like the Lake District and the North York Moors have the twin aims of conservation and promoting enjoyment. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads also has a third equally weighted purpose of managing the navigation.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are defined under a different act of Parliament to the other parks and, until now, was only known as a member of the National Park family despite having a National Park grant and the same planning protection and first two purposes as the other parks.

The Broads Authority says the move to call it the Broads National Park came out of a desire to more clearly promote its national park credentials and special qualities.

Sunset over Oulton Broad in Suffolk in the newly re-branded Broads National Park. Credit: James Allen

The decision comes after a three-month consultation which resulted in 79% of national, regional and local interests groups supporting the proposal.

It also follows discussions with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) after which Secretary of State Lord de Mauley expressed he was content with the move as it did not involve a change in legal status.

The broadwalk at Barton Broad in Norfolk during the winter of 2013. Credit: Jamie Hanger

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