View larger map

National Parks and the UK Government

The national parks of the United Kingdom are loosely joined local authorities to administer their boundaries with local counties and councils. This contrasts with the United States National Park Service, where all of the national parks are run by the federal agency.

The government administrator of the National Parks is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, currently Elizabeth Truss, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk.

Key Figures in the Creation of the National Parks of the UK

Legislation Creating and Revising the National Parks of the UK

Conservation Strategy

Unlike in the American system of National Parks, and the four other Anglosphere countries, the National Parks are not corralled areas that are off limits to developement, they include towns that have existed for hundreds of years. In fact, most of the land in the national parks is privately owned, about 75% of it, and the public ownership is by entities that do not have much power. The national park administrations work to preserve the landscapes of the areas bounded, but they are also involved in the economic delevelopment of the areas. National parks in Britain do not aim to preserve landscapes without human ruination, people have lived on the tiny island for millenia, and so what untouched by their influence has absolutely no meaning. Their aim instead is to preserve natural landscapes and to manage their lands in a fashion that helps promote economic development, and preserves the landscapes British beauty. Another aim is to provide a refuge for the tired urbanite to escape and enjoy recreation and leisure away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

There is an exception for Scotland though. Scotland contrasts from England and Wales in terms of population density, and as such, the preservation of land as is in the country is more strong. After millenia, humans still have not totally settled the craggy landscape, as it can be too wet and too cold.