National parks of the United Kingdom

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National parks are a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom having its own policies and arrangements. Counted together, the United Kingdom has fifteen national parks with ten in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland. These parks are not truly national parks according to the internationally accepted standard of the IUCN[1] but they are areas of outstanding landscape where habitation and commercial activities are restricted.

There are currently no national parks in Northern Ireland though there are controversial moves to establish one in the Mourne Mountains.[2] If established, it would stretch from Carlingford Lough to Newcastle and Slieve Croob, creating a tourism boom and up to 2,000 jobs. On the other hand, there are fears that it could drive up house prices making it difficult for young, local couples to set up home in the area.

All fifteen national parks share two statutory purposes; To conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area, and to promote understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the national park by the public. The Scottish national parks have two further statutory purposes; To promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area, and to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities. The Broads is not a national park, but is a member of the UK national parks family, with the same level of landscape protection, and an additional statutory purpose; To protect the interests of navigation.[3]

All fifteen national parks in the UK are members of the Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA), which works to promote the UK national parks family and to facilitate training and development between staff and members of all parks.[4]

Beginning in 2014 there was a movement to establish the Greater London area as a national park.[5]

For details of the established national parks, see:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Even though the IUCN call category II 'national parks', the UK's national parks are actually in category V.". UK ANPA. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Cassidy, Martin. "Northern Ireland | Community split over national park". BBC News. Retrieved 6 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Aims and purposes of National Parks". UK ANPA. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "About ANPA". UK ANPA. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Raven-Ellison, Daniel. "Why Greater London should be made into an urban national park". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 

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