Is Dorset going to be turned into a national park?

Video report by ITV Meridian's Richard Slee

Campaigners are proposing that the county of Dorset becomes the UK's newest national park.

Those behind the idea say it would create jobs, protect the environment and benefit the local community. However, critics say it would be another layer of bureaucracy, turn the county into a museum and damage local democracy

The government says it is committed to establishing new national parks and Dorset is considered to be the next most likely to be created.  

From the stunning cliffs and beautiful beaches of the famous Jurassic coast, to the rolling hills of the Isle of Purbeck and its lush farm and heathland, Dorset is one of the countries most beautiful and diverse counties.

The proposed area would stretch from east Devon to the edge of Poole harbour.

The campaign believes a National Park could offer Dorset a unique opportunity to help reverse the decline in our environment, make it the home for ambitious and innovative businesses and help farmers and land managers to diversify.

  • Chris Loder, the MP for West Dorset (Con) and Zoey Ingarfierd from the National Park have mixed views on what the change would mean for the county

Some supporters are referring to the success in the South Downs national park, which was created ten years ago. The area is similar; a working farm landscape with market towns. 

Existing local authorities, such as Dorset Council and Dorchester Town Council, say they will wait for more information before supporting or opposing the idea.