National Parks in the United Kingdom

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National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty were established for England and Wales under legislation in 1948. Scotland created its first national parks more recently in 2000. As these are usually major tourist destinations in their own right, and affect planning laws, these are useful boundaries to have mapped.

Boundaries are probably difficult to identify precisely, and therefore initial mapping is likely to include/exclude areas. Some national parks have obvious signs along road (for instance the millstones used by the Peak District), but in most cases the boundaries will need iterative refinement. When boundaries are not known precisely it is useful to document how the mapped boundaries are derived, as done for the Cotswolds.

National Parks (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)

There are 13 National Parks in England and Wales, set up under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, and 2 National Parks in Scotland, set up under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000. There are currently no National Parks in Northern Ireland.

National Park Country Est. Boundary Way/Relation Notes
Brecon Beacons [1] Wales 1957 relation 357283 complete, but often guess-work
Cairngorms [2] Scotland 2003 relation 9838401 Complete boundary added from OS OpenData 250k images, using existing features where available. Needs tweaking in places.
Dartmoor [3] England 1951 relation 1928125 complete
Exmoor [4] England 1954 relation 86909 complete
Lake District [5] England 1951 relation 287917 work in progress
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs [6] Scotland 2002 relation 1957067 Complete boundary added from OS OpenData 250k images, using existing features where available, and local knowledge boundary where similar to OS OpenData and had more detail. Needs tweaking in places, especially through Balloch.
New Forest [7] England 2005 relation 2678988 complete
Northumberland [8] England 1956 relation 1168821 complete but some is tentative
Norfolk Broads [9] England 1988 relation 2568322
North York Moors [10] England 1952 relation 409150 incomplete
Peak District [11] England 1951 relation 2176657 incomplete
Pembrokeshire Coast [12] Wales 1952 relation 165598
Snowdonia [13] Wales 1951 relation 287245 complete, but most of the boundary is tentative
South Downs [14] England 2010 relation 1596374 complete. source is OS_OpenData_Strategi (except western edge) - may need fine tuning
Yorkshire Dales [15] England 1954 relation 307985 complete