The Peak District: The UK’s First National Park at 70

Written by Adam Stanworth

The much-beloved Peak District region celebrated its 70th birthday on Saturday.

The area that is now known as the Peak District has long been identified as a place of significant national heritage. This led to its establishment as the first of the country’s 15 national parks in 1951.

Attlee’s government were intent on ensuring that the public had better access to open countryside and clean air as a means of improving the nation’s health in the years following the Second World War.

The area, which is largely unchanged from the initial boundaries drawn up in 1951, covers 555 square miles.

Its limits make up much of South Yorkshire and reach into the Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

Its wide scope means the District is within an hours drive of 20 million people, and it is estimated to have around 13 million visitors every year, who flock to the park to enjoy pursuits such as walking, angling and mountain-biking.

However, the high volume of tourists has taken its toll on the park over the years. Footpath erosion and damage to rights of way through both legal and illegal off-road vehicle use have marred the landscape.

The park is committed to conserving its natural beauty and numerous projects are in place to ensure that it is enjoyed by visitors in a sustainable way.





Written by Adam Stanworth

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