Natural England says many landscape areas are worthy of protection
Work on identifying possible extensions to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks has begun again.
Natural England wants formal protection for some areas between the parks.
A consultation on extending boundaries was halted in 2008 to await the outcome of an inquiry into whether the South Downs should have National Park status.
This hinged on whether parks could be designated around more than one type of landscape character, and the go-ahead meant the extension plan could resume.
Natural England said on Monday that a public consultation would be carried out, and confirmation of any new boundaries would be subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The areas covered include Birkbeck Fells to Whinfell, Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell, River Kent and around Levens, Orton Fells and Northern Howgill Fells.