This is an archived press release
Friday 25 June 2004
25 June 2004
NATIONAL PARKS NAMED 'GREATEST LANDSCAPE INFLUENCE'
The Landscape Institute (LI) named the National Park movement as the greatest influence on the UK's landscape in the last 75 years in their 75th Anniversary Members' Awards.
The movement – including current and former National Park Authority members and staff, pressure groups and voluntary societies - was commended for its work in influencing the landscape and conserving the environment.
Chief Executive of the Association of National Park Authorities, Martin Fitton, accepted the award on behalf of the movement.
He paid tribute to those members of the public, politicians and environmental lobbyists who championed the statutory protection of our most beautiful countryside, and campaigned for improved public access, in the first half of the 20th century.
Martin Fitton also praised members and staff of the UK's 13 National Park Authorities who over the last 50 years have realised the vision of those who established National Parks in 1949.
He commented: "The National Park movement was started by everyday members of the public who had the drive and vision to campaign for the establishment of National Parks. We can be proud of the way these living landscapes, given to us by nature, have been well protected and harnessed as truly national treasures for all to experience and enjoy.
"I am happy to accept this award on behalf of the many people who have made the National Park vision a reality during the last 100 years."
Presenting the award, President of the Landscape Institute, Rod Edwards said: "I am delighted that such a strong, innovative and forward-looking movement has deservedly won this award, in recognition of their historical drive and vision in campaigning for the creation of National Parks. The award is also in honour of the National Park Authorities' effective management of our finest landscapes, and their development of policies to protect them from unsympathetic development.
"There is no doubt that there has been no greater beneficial influence on the British landscapes over the last 75 years than that of the National Park movement."
Tony Hams, Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: "We welcome the Landscape Institute's recognition of the work of the UK National Parks over the years. It is a tribute to many people's hard work and steadfast enthusiasm for protecting the environment, conserving our heritage and providing enjoyment for the millions of people who visit our Parks.
"This award is particularly timely coming just weeks before the new rights to access the countryside come into being which will see the amount of access land double overnight in the Peak District."