'Significant' plan for Dartmoor and US national parks to collaborate

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio
Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

A national park in England and one in the US have announced plans to collaborate on common issues.

Dartmoor National Park Authority and Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio will work together as Sister Parks.

The Devon park said it was a "significant opportunity" and "a first for a UK national park".

It added the parks shared "many similarities" and would be "tackling priorities such as nature recovery, climate change and community outreach".

Dartmoor National Park Authority said: "Dartmoor is set to become the official Sister Park of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a 33,000-acre protected landscape.

"The partnership agreement, led by Dartmoor National Park Authority's deputy chair Peter Harper, will help each protected landscape share knowledge and expertise on key issues such as conservation, tackling climate change and sustainable tourism.

"Currently, about 69 national parks and protected areas in more than 30 countries enjoy Sister Park status with US national parks."

Mr Harper said he was "delighted" with the agreement, which was unanimously supported by the Devon authority at a meeting this month.

'Tackle the challenges'

"We're very proud to be the first UK national park to enter a Sister Parks arrangement and are excited to establish closer links with Cuyahoga Valley and the US National Parks Service," he said.

"The agreement helps us share knowledge and best practice on what we're both doing to tackle the challenges we face as well as making the most of the opportunities that come our way.

"We hope this new Sister Park agreement will build on existing international relationships and provide a stronger voice for the global family of national parks."

The Sister Park partnership usually lasts five years.

Areas identified for collaboration include outreach and engagement work - particularly with people in socially or economically disadvantaged areas - agri-environment and conservation management, volunteer programmes and access to different funding streams.

Most of the collaboration will be via video conferencing, but if the Devon authority can secure external funding, a visit to the US park might take place next year.

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