'An intimate charm': The creation of national parks in England & Wales
LE3 .A278 2016
Bachelor of Arts
History & Classics
This thesis examines the history of the creation of national parks in England and Wales, and emphasises the continuous nature of the campaign for national parks over decades that built in strength and reshaped political and popular attitudes in its favour. This study traces the origins of the idea which built upon traditions of environmental conservation and a trend towards the preservation of aspects of town and country life. Numerous organisations that were interested in national parks for their value of both environmental and countryside preservation and recreation, promoted the idea of national parks in the early twentieth century and lobbied the government to act. The 1930s were a key period in the campaign for national parks with the publication of the Report of the Committee for National Parks in 1931, the peak of the open access movement led by ramblers, the formation of the Standing Committee on National Parks. and the disappointing first attempt at legislation to provide public access to the countryside in 1939. Campaigners for national parks continued their efforts during the Second World War and in the post-war period when their cause was advanced by the publication of the Scott Report (1942), the Dower Report (1945), and the Hobhouse Report (1947), all of which concluded in favour of national park creation in Britain. The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was eventually passed in 1949 when political, economic, social conditions coalesced in to an atmosphere in which meaningful national park legislation was possible.
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