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Last edited 06 Jun 2018
National Parks are nationally-protected areas in the UK, protected because of their countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage value. Villages, towns and farms within the boundary of National Parks are also protected.
The statutory function of National Parks is to:
- Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of an area.
- Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of National Parks by the public.
Each of the National Parks have ‘special qualities’ which include:
- Broads (England).
- Dartmoor (England).
- Exmoor (England).
- Lake District (England).
- New Forest (England).
- Northumberland (England).
- North York Moors (England).
- Peak District (England).
- South Downs (England).
- Yorkshire Dales (England).
- Cairngorms (Scotland).
- Loch Lomond and the Trossachs (Scotland).
- The Brecon Beacons (Wales).
- Pembrokeshire (Wales).
- Snowdonia (Wales).
National Parks are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 with further protection provided by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
 Ownership, management and funding
The National Park Authorities are independent bodies, responsible for managing the parks and are staffed by both paid and voluntary members. The majority of paid staff work in offices, visitor centres and field stations. Funding for National Parks is is provided by central government with some additional funds from the European Union.
 Management Plans
Each National Park has a legal requirement to produce a management plan. The plan details how relevant organisations will progress with meeting the shared objectives of the park.
On 27 May 2018, Nearly 70 years after National Parks and AONBs were first established, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced a review to ensure designated landscapes are fit for the future.
Led by writer Julian Glover, the review will look at how these landscapes meet our needs – including whether there is scope for the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 National Parks to expand. It will also explore how access to these landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Areas of outstanding natural beauty.
- Conservation area.
- Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
- Designated sites.
- Green belt.
- National nature reserves.
- National trails.
- National Trust.
- Natural England.
- Pocket park.
- Protected species.
- Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI).
- Sites of special scientific interest.
- Wildlife and Countryside Act.
- World heritage sites.
 External references
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