The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced plans for a review and potential expansion of the network of national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
An independent panel will look at how the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 national parks meet the needs in the 21st century and see if there is scope to expand.
The review will examine a number of issues, including the:
National parks were first established by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. 260 million visitors a year from the UK and abroad visit the country's national parks, which cover over a quarter of the UK.