National parks as countryside management

A twenty-first-century dilemma

Authored by: Jonathan Bell , Aileen Stockdale

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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National parks were first established a century and a half ago and remain a popular means to protect and manage highly prized landscapes. This chapter reviews their transition from the primary purpose of protection towards delivery of a broader set of countryside management aims. Evolving national park models embrace a strong sustainability agenda within multifunctional and increasingly contested landscapes. This presents challenges for contemporary rural planning and governance. These include the management of competing traditional and new rural economy functions and associated stakeholder interests. The chapter provides insights into the economic and social forces at work in managing contemporary national parks. It seeks to contribute to ongoing debates about the role and mechanisms of national park management in the twenty-first century.

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