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MP's bid to make Vale of Belvoir an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

A bid to make the Vale of Belvoir an Area of Outstanding National Beauty has been launched by a Nottinghamshire MP.

Robert Jenrick MP, who represents Newark and the Nottinghamshire part of the Vale of Belvoir, has launched the campaign to establish the Vale, uniting Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire and including Belvoir Castl, as an area designated for conservation.

Mr Jenrickâ s idea was conceived before the Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove announced this week a review of National Parks and AONBs with the potential to create new ones, but with national government support he is launching a campaign to make the idea a reality.

Mr Jenrick said: â A new Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty would draw together this wonderful area in a concerted effort to improve access, attract visitors and preserve the countryside and historic villages. The Vale is known for its wonderful landscape, fantastic village pubs, perfect cycling and walking, magnificent castles and unspoilt churches.

â With Newark, Nottingham, Melton and Grantham at its borders, it has long provided a green lung for cities and towns, whether that was Sunday lunch or a pint in a country pub or a cycle ride along idyllic lanes. Now I want it to be nationally recognised and bring huge opportunities to the local area through increased tourism and increased protection.â

Mr Jenrick intends to meet Michael Gove shortly to discuss the plan and to bring together local MPs and council leaders, as well as stakeholders such as local Wildlife Trusts and the Duchess of Rutland who manages the Belvoir Castle estate.

The Newark MP came up with the idea while cycling with his family from Bingham to Belvoir Castle and said that everyone he has spoken to since about it has been extremely positive and excited. He said it would link increased efforts to market Newark since the opening of the National Civil War Centre with the restoration of the Capability Brown landscape of Belvoir Castle and the forthcoming opening of new restaurant and shopping facilities there as well as the upsurge in interest in cycling throughout the Vale.

He added: â I have loved the Vale ever since coming to the East Midlands and since then Iâ ve also been in search of a way to bring together and enhance our marketing of the area to the outside world. A new AONB for the Vale does that and would enhance and protect our area for future generationsâ .


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