National Parks.

Purpose and duty

National Park purposes are to conserve and enhance wildlife, natural beauty and cultural heritage, and to promote opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Parks. In pursuit of their purposes, National Park Authorities have a duty to seek to foster the economic and social wellbeing of the local communities in their area. At present they are the only local authority with such a duty.

The Sandford principle

The Sandford principle applies to the purposes of National Parks and is enshrined in section 62 of the 1995 Environment Act. It states that every effort should be made to reconcile any conflict that may arise between the two purposes. However, where there is an irreconcilable conflict between the two purposes, greater weight should be attached to the first (i.e. conservation).


Under the 1995 Environment Act National Parks receive 75% central Government funding via the National Parks Supplementary Grant. The other 25% comes from Local Authorities.


South Downs AONBs (Countryside Agency)
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South Downs Way

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