The campaign for national parks
The speaker gave a whistle-stop tour of the
As Brian Redhead, (President of CNP in 1986) said, “The
National Parks are not ours but ours to look after.” While the parks get some support from
government, they are generally privately owned.
They are designated as national parks because they are special on
account of their scenery, cultural and historical associations and their flora
and fauna. They are the top tier of
protected areas. The 13 National Parks
The first 10 were designated between 1951 and 1957 then it
was 30 years before the Norfolk Broads were designated followed by the New
Forest and the
The Peak District provides a good illustration of what our national parks are about – enclosed land is lush and green and shows the impact of people in roads, farms and nearby is open moorland. It epitomises the interplay between the heavily modified and natural (or at least less modified by human influence) landscapes. In other countries, national parks are generally much wilder landscapes.
The Countryside Commission in 1985 described
The Norfolk Broads were thought to be natural until relatively
recently but they were actually made by people digging peat in medieval times
(when the second city of
Creation of national parks and governance
Brian Redhead said in 1986 that “National parks are an inheritance not an invention”. The creation of national parks resulted from the Hobhouse Report (1949) recommendations. The first was created in 1951 and there are now 13. It has always been recognised that it is not necessary to keep them exactly as they are because people live and work in them but they are worth conserving.
They are governed by National Park Authorities (NPAs), one for each park, funded by government and responsible for planning. The NPAs comprise local councillors and nationally appointed members who work together to facilitate conservation and recreation. Under the 1995 Environment Act, NPAs have a duty to:
The Campaign for National Parks
The Campaign for National Parks’ mission is to inspire everyone to enjoy and look after national parks. It is organised by trustees and its current president is Ben Fogle. It provides a voice for many different stakeholders, essentially acting as a candid friend to national parks and NPAs. Developments that affect national parks, such as wind farms, pylons, mines and quarries are of national importance, as are the parks, so it is not just local people who have an interest. The CNP gives a voice to a wider range of people. It also includes a wide range of organisations.
Issues faced by national parks
Some of the issues facing national parks include:
As Brian Redhead said in 1986, “National Parks are ours to treasure and enjoy”.
What can you do?
To help the CNP and our national parks you can join Friends of CNP, write campaigning letters, volunteer, tell others but most of all enjoy our national parks.