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National Parks

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By Rachael Dean
What are they?
“A National Park is a reserve of land, usually
owned by a national government, which is
protected from most human development.”
The International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN) is an international
organisation dedicated to natural resource
conservation and National Parks come
under category 2 of IUCN standards.
What is Category II?
This category states that a National Park is a
natural area of land and/or sea, designated to:
1. Protect the ecological integrity of one or
more ecosystems for future generations
2. Exclude exploitation or occupation inimical
to the purposes of designation of the area
3. Provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific,
educational, recreational, and visitor
opportunities, all of which must be
environmentally and culturally compatible
Some countries also designate sites of
special cultural, scientific or historical
importance as national parks, or as
special entities within their national
park systems. Other countries use a
different scheme for historical site
preservation. Some of these sites are
awarded the title World Heritage Site
by the UNESCO.
In the beginning…
It was the English poet William Wordsworth in
1810 who described the Lake District as…
“a sort of national property in which every man
has a right and interest who has an eye to
perceive and a heart to enjoy”
However, is was the Scottish-American naturalist
John Muir who proved inspirational in the
foundation of national parks, anticipating many
ideas of conservationism, environmentalism, and
the animal rights movement.
Where are they?
National parks are usually located in
places which have been largely
undeveloped, and often feature areas
with exceptional native animals,
plants and ecosystems (particularly
endangered examples of such),
biodiversity, or unusual geological
features. Occasionally, national parks
are declared in developed areas with
the goal of returning the area to
resemble its original state as closely
as possible.
Main Aims
Most National Parks have a dual role as
offering a refuge for wildlife as well as
being popular tourist destinations.
However…managing the conflict between
these two roles can become problematic...
Parks can be reserves for substantial natural
resources, such as timber and minerals. The
balance of the demand for extraction of
these resources, against the damage this
might cause, is often a very important
challenge in national park management.
Some National parks have been subject to
illegal logging and other
exploitation, sometimes
because of political corruption.
This threatens the integrity
of many valuable habitats.
Case Study:
The Lake
The Lake District
National Park is one of
twelve National Parks in
the United Kingdom. As
you can see from the
map, The Lake District is
situated in North-West
In more detail…
The Lake
District lies
entirely within
Cumbria and is
one of
England’s few
regions as well
as including 15
lakes, which is
why it attracts
a large number
of visitors
The Lakes, as the region
is also known, were
made famous during
the early 19th Century
by the poetry and
writings of William
Wordsworth and the
Lake Poets.
The park covers
230,000 ha of
land and is
dominated by
formations left by
the last Ice Age.
The Lake District hosts a very wide variety
of landscapes including…
Historically, farming, particularly
sheep farming was the major industry
in this region.
Another major lakeland industry was
the mining of copper, lead, barite,
graphite and slate from the 16th to
the 19th century.
However, tourism has now grown
rapidly and become the area’s
primary source of income.
Tourist Information
Facts & Figures
The Lake District National Park was created by the
National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949
and came into being on 15 August 1951
There are over 200
people who work for the
Lake District National
Park Authority including
rangers, advisors in visitor
centres, forestry & estate
teams, ecologists,
archaeologists, admin
staff and volunteers.
The Lake District National
Park attracts over 12
million visitors every year.
Britain’s National Parks are
funded directly from
government grants via
DEFRA and don’t receive
funding from council tax
or other local taxes.
The Lake District National Park Authority’s
overall spending for 2006/2007 is ВЈ7.4 million
- ВЈ176 for every person living in the region or 62
pence for every visitor.
ВЈ6.3 million of this comes from a grant from
DEFRA and about a third of income comes from
trading activities like car parking, planning
application fees and sales at information centres.
Purposes of the Authority
The Lake District National Park Authority was
established in 1951.
As set out in the Environment Act 1995, it’s statutory
purposes are…
1. To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and
cultural heritage of the Park
2. To promote opportunities for the understanding and
enjoyment of the special qualities of the Park by the public
3. To seek to foster the economic and social well being of
local communities within the park by working closely with
the agencies and local authorities.
The Legal Bit
Section 62 of the Environment Act 1995
makes it clear that if National park
purposes are in conflict the conservation
must have priority
This is known as the…
The Sandford Principle
This principle stems from the Sandford’s
Committee’s recommendation, in 1974 that…
“Enjoyment of national Parks shall
be in a manner and by such means
as will leave their natural beauty
unimpaired for the enjoyment of
this and future generations”
As spring approaches the lake District comes alive
with a variety of flowering plants including…
For the children or young at heart there’s a
large adventure playground at Brockhole visitor
There’s also an eco centre where visitor s are
encourages to help the environment.
Coniston Boating Centre also proves to be a
popular visitor attraction with regular lake
cruises and other water sports on offer.
There are plenty of parking facilities available
around the park where you can leave your car
too explore the Park on foot, by bike or even
by boat.
The park is also accessible to all and there
are over 20 “Miles Without Stiles” routes
for easy pushchair and wheelchair access.
Information centres are also a good source
to help you get around and enjoy your
stay as much as possible.
With over 12 million visitors attracted to the
area every year, there are obviously going to be
certain pressures.
People are the biggest threat to areas like the
Lake District as they can…
If these problems weren’t controlled, the area
would lose it’s natural beauty, so this is where
the work of the Lake District National Park
Authority comes in.
They have to follow what is known at the
National Park Management Plan which is a
national strategy used in all UK national Parks
and include rules and regulations on
everything to do with the park from the
Historic environment to traffic and transport.
Tree Preservation
The Authority protects
important trees through tree
preservation orders which make it
an offence to cut down, top, lop,
uproot or wilfully damage or
destroy any tree without
Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is based on the idea
that the quality of people’s lives and the state of
our communities is affected by a combination
of economic, social and environmental factors.
The sustainable development fund is a grant
scheme from DEFRA which helps towards any
ideas that increase the understanding and
enjoyment of the Lake District.
How to help…
Visitors can help the sustainable development
fund by simply…
•Buying local produce and make use of local services
and shops
•Car share to work
•Use water sparingly
•Choose products with less packaging, therefore
creating less waste
•Re-use paper and plastic carrier bags where possible
•Use low-energy light bulbs which last longer
•Use recycled products wherever possible
•Use natural alternatives to artificial chemicals on
your garden, and don't use pesticides
The Ranger team provides a countryside
management service for the community by…
•Contact with residents, visitors, interest groups,
parish and district councils and other organisations
•Links between the community and other specialists
in the LDNPA
•Rights of Way monitoring, management and
•Implementation of conservation projects
•Practical land management
•Lake monitoring byelaw enforcement and
•Visitor and recreation management
•Work with the Lake District Volunteers Service
Fact & Figure Summary
There are a total
of 22,930
dwelling within
the Lake District
89% of
visitors to the
Lakes arrive
by car
The Lake’s
highest peak is
Scafell pike at
978m (a.s.l.)
The lake’s
deepest lake is
Wastwater at
There are 1740 listed buildings and
structures and
21 Conservation Areas covering
historic towns and villages
There are over 6000 known
archaeological sites and
monuments dating from
prehistory to World War II.
The Lake District is
England's largest
National Park covering
885 square miles.
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