Quality of Life
The Just and Safe Space
The people of the National Park are as varied as our landscape is ancient. Here we talk of those who live within our boundaries, who have made lives here, homes here, raised families, loved, laughed and faced fears here.
We also refer to those who run businesses from the Park. Maybe hosting one of the 5 million visitors we see each year, maybe farming the land, raising stock on the hills as has been done for generations, or doing something completely unrelated that just happens to be here in the Park, who knows. We also refer to those visitors, those who come to soak up the views, tread lightly on our soil, enjoy a bit of our famous hospitality.
Our people are our strength, and it is through our people that we will bring about the change that is needed for a sustainable future. It is also for our future generations of residents, visitors and business owners that we reiterate again and again this need for change.
Our resident population is however getting older. With time, this means that we will face a shortage of younger people of working age which will in turn have a knock on effect on the provision of services, facilities, our economy and our future sustainability. It also skews perceptions as young people’s voices are lost from our communities.
Communities are challenged by the high proportion of houses being used as second and holiday homes. Although these bring economic benefit, they also create gaps in communities where houses are unoccupied, and communities dwindle in numbers, coherence and feelings of belonging suffer.
Our visitor profile has shifted dramatically since the covid lock downs. We are seeing more visitors than ever before, and some areas of the Park just don’t have the infrastructure to support the levels of visitors that come. As a result, visitors and communities find themselves dealing with less than positive outcomes.
Taken in combination we see a population, both permanent and temporary which has moved beyond safe operating limits for the planet and society. Our communities are compromised, their needs are not being met, our visitors are inadvertently causing harm to the natural environments they have come to visit and value so much.
This is why our mission focuses so strongly on meeting day to day needs in a manner that respects the limits of planetary systems. Shifting the way people live, work and access the Park is critical if we are to ensure the people of the National Park a safe and sustainable future.