THE biggest review of English and Welsh national parks since they were first created is set to be urged to consider granting them powers to protect wildlife.

Members of the North York Moors National Park Authority said while its first statutory purpose of conserving landscapes was inextricably linked to wildlife, it was frustrating to have virtually no powers to defend creatures.

A meeting of the authority heard that its lack of jurisdiction over the park’s fauna meant any individual could block conservation schemes while even bodies such as Natural England were struggling with resources to carry out all they would like to do in national parks.

Ahead of sending a report to the Glover Review, launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove earlier this year, the authority’s chief executive Andy Wilson said transferring wildlife protection powers to the park authority could prove beneficial to protecting one its key assets.

He told members: “When you look at our planning powers, particularly for listed buildings, the public might not be aware how broad our powers are in terms of intervening, entering and requiring positive work to be done.

“While it is quite possible for a national park authority to have such powers, on wildlife the report suggests the panel should consider whether powers should be transferred or shared with the park authority.

“We are not trying to say we should have all these powers, but that we should have some to ensure that our management plan does happen.”

Member Jeremy Walker said the implication of the recommendation was that other bodies' enforcement of wildlife protection was not good enough. He warned the authority against arguing for extra powers without having financial back-up.

Another member, farmer David Hugill, said he had become increasingly concerned about plans for the introduction of some species.

He said: “We have just had a failed attempt to bring lynxes back. There’s calls for wolves’ release in the Highlands, and for some reason Greater London, to curb growth and also brown bears to control deer. We can play a crucial part in any future consultations on the introduction of species.”

Ahead of members agreeing to call for the review to consider granting national parks some wildlife protecting powers, member Janet Frank said: “If we can’t look after the animals in the park I don’t see a point in us being here.”