All the national parks in England are set to get improved coverage for mobile phone use after the four main UK network providers came to an agreement. EE, 02, Three and Vodafone are to work together so that the introduction of new infrastructure is planned correctly to overcome the adverse effects of the landscape of each area.

This new joint accord, which the Mobile Operators Association and National Parks England have both signed, has been specifically designed to look at what are termed as ‘notspots’; these are areas where there is no mobile coverage whatsoever by any provider. This may mean that new masts have to be built to increase the signal across the natural landscape but they would be ‘sensitively located and designed accordingly’. At present, the mobile signal is often obstructed by the natural terrain and can also be affected by stone buildings, which tend to absorb the radio waves on which the signal is transmitted.

The new plans will see the operators share masts and sites so that coverage is increased but keeps changes to the landscape to a minimum. The operators are working with all concerned authorities in order to ensure that the required connectivity is supplied, after all more than 330,000 people live in the parks not forgetting the millions of visitors who experience the national parks each year.

A spokesman from Mountain Rescue England and Wales said that their organisation also welcomed the move, which could help to improve safety within the parks more remote areas, but warned about being complacent. People should also carry a map and a compass and know how to use them, as improved connectivity was one thing, but mobile phones and other electronic gadgets were prone to run out of charge, often when you need them most.

Dependant on your point of view and mine is something of a mixed one, this is probably a great thing to happen, but I do enjoy that feeling when I am out on the hills, waliking in my Regatta trousers or shorts, that it is a great opportunity to remove myself from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and now it’s just somewhere else that could end up being disturbed by a phone ringing.