Peak District National Park State of the Park

Location and overview of the Peak District

In 1951, the Peak District National Park was the first national park to be designated in England and Wales. The national park’s boundaries were fixed at that time, situated at the southern tip of the Pennines and covering 143,830 hectares.

The Peak District National Park is a rural upland area valued for its diverse landscape and scenery. It is surrounded by major conurbations and is at the hub of trans-Pennine routes. Some 16.1 million people live within an hour’s drive (or 40 miles) of the national park’s boundary and, as a result, it attracts millions of visitors each year. The national park continues to change in response to local circumstances and external influence. Approximately 38,000 residents live within the boundary of the national park in towns, villages, hamlets and dispersed rural settlements.

Responsibility for the environment is vested in a wide range of agencies and organisations at local, regional and national level, all of whom work closely with the Peak District National Park Authority.

There are 125 parishes that lie fully or partly within the national park. The boundaries include 9 local authority areas, 4 regions and 7 highways authorities.

Figure 1: Source ONS Constitutional Boundaries Population Peak District National Park population estimates, mid-2010 by part Local Authority

The Peak District National Park Authority is responsible for ensuring that the purposes of the national park are carried out. However, all authorities that lie within the national park boundary must take into account the national park purposes in their activities.