National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act

Applies to EnglandApplies to Wales

Title: National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act

Category: England and Wales Law

Date: 1949

Reference: * [Full text not available]

General Description:

The Act established powers to declare National Nature Reserves (NNRs); to notify sites of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's) and for local authorities to establish Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).

These provisions were strengthened by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. An NNR is an area which is among the best examples of a particular habitat. NNRs are of national importance. They are in many cases owned and managed by the statutory authority, (for example English Nature), but not always. An NNR, unlike an SSSI, has to be managed appropriately to retain its special status. There is at least one example of an improperly managed NNR being de-designated.

The first ten National Parks came into being in the 1950s under the 1949 Act. Others such as the Broads Authority, gaining National Park status in April 1989 with the passing of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act (1988). Together covering 13,887 square kilometres (5,360 square miles) or nearly 10% of England and Wales, the Parks include some of the most beautiful areas in the two countries.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Access to the Countryside, Right to Roam, Habitat Protection, Environmental Protection

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