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Every school child "should spend a night under the stars"

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An independent report has suggested that every schoolchild in England should get the chance to “spend a night under the stars” in an idyllic landscape.

The move would help youngsters connect with nature and ensure protected areas like national parks are open to everyone.

Report author, Julian Glover, said England’s 70-year-old national park system and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty need to be “reignited” to meet challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and increased urban living.

Mr Glover suggested overnight school trips would help young people understand more about the natural environment. Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, said the idea echoed government aims.

Other recommendations include a National Landscapes Service for the country’s 10 national parks and 34 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a new “ranger service” to help engage the public.

He also said a new national park should be created in the Chilterns, with a new “national forest” in Nottinghamshire to fight climate change.

Mr Glover said: “If we take action, we can make our country healthier, happier, greener, more beautiful and part of all our lives. 

“Seventy years ago this year we created our national parks for a nation that had just won the Second World War. Now it’s time to reignite that mission.”

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