Diamonds in the landscape


 Great Gable

 Photograph: Great Gable View by Alan Cleaver

British national parks celebrate 60 years of protecting the British landscape, providing public access to the countryside, protecting areas of outstanding natural beauty and biodiversity, and helping local economies.  Earlier this year the go-ahead was given for a new national park in the South Downs to be established in 2010.

The new national park will join the 15 other areas of Britain designated as national parks such as  The Cairngorms,  Snowdonia  and Brtiain’s first national park created in the Peak District in 1951.

In 1947 the Hobhouse Committee on National Parks of England and Wales built on the work of the Addison Committee of 1931 and ‘conceived of the National Park …suited to British conditions, as a large, beautiful, and relatively wild area in which “for the nation’s benefit” and by appropriate “national decision and action” the landscape is preserved, access and facilties for open-air enjoyment are provided, wild life and fine or historic places and buildings are protected, and established agriculture is maintained and developed’   The Times, Saturday, July 19, 1947;pg. 5; Issue 50817; col B.

Threats to the national parks such as quarrying,  new roads, vandalism, military activity, building developers, removal of stone from limestone pavements, overgrazing of upland commons, congestion, erosion, etc means that Government has to be constantly reviewing  possible improvements in policy, funding and practice of all the agencies involved in maintaining Britain’s national parks and areas of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

It is estimated that over 110 million people visit  British national parks each year,  generating millions of pounds to local economies, illustrating the national importance of parks and recreation the the economy as a whole.    For more information on the role of tourism in the British economy Loughborough University Library subscribes to a number of e-journals such as National Parks ,  Parks & Recreation,  Park Science.   Authentication: Athens username and password required for off campus access.  

If you would like to find out more about Britain’s national parks, please see the links below….

Publications from the Association of National Parks Authorities

History of the National Parks

Command Papers (HM Government), available from The Stationery Office (TSO) (was HMSO until 1997):
‘Report of the National Parks Committee (England and Wales) (Hobhouse Report), Cmnd. 7121, 1947 ;  shelved at serial 328/COM on Level 2 of the Loughborough University Library

English national parks

Countryside Act 1968 

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 

Habitats Regulations 1994 

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 

Hedgerows Regulations 1997 

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2008

CPRE – Campaign to Protect Rural England


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