The Lake District National Park

For almost seventy years, the Lake District National Park has been a popular destination for people wanting to experience nature. The park offers many scenic attractions. The large lakes and the Irish Sea offer water sports and fishing opportunities. The district’s tall mountains provide expansive views of the countryside for those who make the summit.

Protecting the Environment through Public and Private Ownership

The Lake District National Park is a vast expanse of land, occupying more than 2300 square kilometers. The land was originally set aside for preservation to protect the natural environment from the harmful effects of industry and commerce. To accomplish this mission, the designated land was made subject to strict zoning requirements restricting ownership to interests which would preserve the natural beauty of the land. Today the park enjoys 51% private ownership, with most of the owners operating in agriculture. This public-private partnership allows for preservation and conservation to occur in a fiscally responsible way.

Public Roads, Bridleways, and Right to Roam

Unlike other parks, private ownership restricts a visitor’s ability to move freely around the area. All roadways are public, and the park enjoys more than 3000 kilometers of accessible footpaths and bridleways. It is not allowed to venture on privately held land unless posted as public access. The park allows visitors the “right to roam” in open country unless posted otherwise.

World Heritage Site Status

The Lake District National Park has previously applied to become a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, the park’s application was not accepted due to the amount of human impact on the natural resources of the area. Most notably, commercial logging has made noticeable changes to the forests of the Lake District. Undeterred, the park continued to strengthen its commitment to conservation and has reapplied. A decision on World Heritage Site status is expected to be announced in 2017.

An Excellent Example of Conservation

The Lake District National Park is an excellent example of conservation and the power of public-private partnership. With both forces working together, preservation of nature can be obtained and be fiscally responsible.