The Conservatives have pledged to protect the landscapes of national parks in England under new planning regulations.
Unveiling a policy document pledging to remove bureaucracy from the planning process, the party stated that it would remain a priority to ensure that the most attractive areas of countryside remain unspoiled.
It pledged to "maintain" national "green belt protection, areas of outstanding natural Beauty, national parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other environmental designations which protect the character of our country's landscape".
This would help prevent urban sprawl and protect wildlife, it said.
Such a pledge could be reassuring news for those keen to go walking
in such areas and hoping that any change of government this year will not lead to any harm being done to places where many will don outdoor clothing
and enjoy the fresh air.
Including the South Downs - which does not formally become come into being for another month - national parks cover 9.3 per cent of England's surface area.
Posted by Elaine Arthur