Both the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks should be expanded by 500 sq km, Natural England has said, a decision that may be welcomed by those who like to go walking
in the affected areas.
After a period of planning and public consultation, the body has decided proposals to add new areas to the neighbouring national parks should go ahead, with a final decision set to be made by the secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs early next year.
New parts of the Yorkshire Dales will include the Orton Fells, the northern Howgills, Wild Boar Fell, areas around the upper Lune Valely and Leck fell in Lancashire.
The expanded Lake District will include an eastern extension incorporating an area from the Birkbeck Fells Common to Whinfell Common, Sizergh Fell and the Lyth Valley.
Chair of Natural England Poul Christensen, said the decision "represents an important opportunity to ensure that these special landscapes are looked after for future generations to enjoy".
The Lake District was designated a national park in 1951 and the Yorkshire Dales was established three years later.