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it's a motherfucker
Hi, this is a report that I have submitted for Uni. All I want to know is what you think of it. It's longish and without any pictures. The word limit was 1000 with a 10% margin either way. It's already been submitted and i hope that you'll enjoy. Any comments on how to improve will be disregarded, lol.

Managing and Recreation in the UK National Parks - how do the Park Authorities respond to physical environmental pressures

by Base

Word Count: 1068

0.0 Summary

This report discusses the physical environmental pressures that occur in UK National Parks. The factors of erosion and agriculture in general are discussed as well as Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s management of erosion and tourisms influence on The Yorkshire Dales.

1.0 Introduction

The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 was passed, and with this many National Parks appeared in the United Kingdom. 15 in total exist today
(Figure 1). They were established to retain a natural beauty of the environment and educate the public of their importance in our modern world.

The purpose of this report is to identify physical environmental pressures in our National Parks and what causes them. Once these have been identified, two case studies shall be discussed identifying physical pressures and how the park authorities deal and manage these problems.

2.0 Physical Environmental Pressures

Five physical environmental pressures that occur in National Parks around the United Kingdom will be identified. Two of these will be discussed further.

2.1 Pressures

The pressures identified are; Erosion, Agriculture, Pollution (Figure 2), Quarrying
(Figure 3) and Tourism

2.2 Erosion

Rain, water, wind, frost and grazing animals cause this process. The effects of erosion are most prominent on exposed surfaces and are less effective on vegetated slopes. This is called “‘Natural’ or ‘Geological’ erosion” (Evans, 1996). The exposure of bare soils is mainly due to the activities of human kind; these can range from agriculture to tourism to road construction. This interference increases the lands sensitivity to erosion and is known as “‘Accelerated’ erosion” (Evans, 1996).
Figure 4 is an example of coastal erosion in Norfolk.

2.3 Agriculture

The impact on water can come from “waste products such as silage effluents and livestock slurries” (, 2005). These can have a major impact on surface and underground water quality. Quality can be affected either as a “point source pollutant” (, 2005) or spillage into watercourses. Livestock slurries, if not managed correctly, have the potential to pollute watercourses during storage or land alterations. Agriculture can also lead to the leaching of fertilisers and thus contaminating groundwater. Nitrate leaching has the potential of leading to “the formation of algal blooms in river, lakes, estuaries and sea” (, 2005) and can have detrimental impacts on aquatic life and water supplies.

The impact on land causes degradation of soil and leads to “erosion, compaction, acidification and contamination” (, 2005). Agricultural erosion is mainly a factor dealt by water however; good land management and proper drainage as well as soil protection can greatly reduce this problem. Figure 5 is gully erosion due to bad land management.

The use of agricultural machinery and livestock grazing can lead to soil compaction. Compaction restricts the root growth of plants and the infiltration of water into the soil. This increases run-off, which leads to erosion and the possibility of pollutant contamination in local watercourses. Agriculture can also change the acidity of the soil thus limiting crop production.

The impact on air by intensive farming of animals such as pig and poultry can lead to odours being emitted and becoming a nuisance to local residents. “90% of ammonia emissions come from slurry and manures” (, 2005). This can lead to two types of environmental damage when re-deposited on the land or water. The first being a nitrogen source that can damage sensitive ecosystems and the second is the altering of acidity levels in soil thus affecting and damaging certain types of vegetation. Agriculture is a major source of “greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide” (, 2005).

3.0 Case Study

3.1 Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Erosion

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was established in 1952. It is one of the smallest National Parks but is the only park that is largely coastline. It covers a total area of 620 square kilometres.

Being situated on the coast, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is extremely vulnerable to different types of erosion. These can range from marine erosion, where the actions of the sea wear away softer rock from the cliff to the influences of humans by means of tourism.

There is little that can actually be done by park authorities to combat “Natural erosion” (Evens, 1996), especially where high cliffs are affected (Figure 7). In the cases where small villages may be threatened, “sea defences can be erected or strengthened” (, 2005). Although the Pembrokeshire County Councils would deal these situations, the National Park Authorities (NPA) would be involved for the Park areas in a “consultancy and advisory capacity” (, 2005).

The actions of humans also contribute to erosion. These have been occurring in prime tourist spots in all over this National Park. A good example of this is “destruction” (, 2005) was at Freshwater East where over a number of years tourists eroded the sand dunes until they almost vanished. The park authorities have undertaken a large-scale program of sand dune restoration at this site and others.
More information about this project can be found on the Official Website, under the section “Sand Dune Conservation”.

Erosion repair can be undertaken by the Park Authorities or by the County Council. Projects have been carried out to remove loose materials from eroding cliffs and reinstate path links. Consultant engineers do maintenance checks twice a year and the National Park wardens carry out weekly visual inspections. Erosion repair can be expensive and finding budget for this is difficult. It is all dependants on a variety of factors ranging from “extent and type of erosion, location, timing” (, 2005).
Park authorities have also undertaken the use of information boards and the education of the general public.

3.2 The Yorkshire Dales and Tourism

The Yorkshire Dales became a National Park in 1954; it covers an area of 1,773 square kilometres. 8 million visitors visit the park each year, which also has over “20,000 residents living and working in the area” (, 2001).

With 8 million tourists visiting the park each year, a lot of damage is done to the surrounding environment. The area suffers from extreme wear and tear from tourists themselves and traffic flow. In 1987 a survey was carried out in the Three Peaks area. “68km of path had an average of 11.4m trampled width and 2.7m bare width” (, 2001). Problems are more widespread now and require an ever-increasing level of resources to fix them.

Car-born visitors bring another problem to the park and local communities. These range from traffic congestion to damage of village greens. Air pollution and problems of car-parking spaces are other factors. Conflicts between recreational user (Figure 10) and local residents and workers also occur. An example of this is “damage to grazing and interference with farming activities” (, 2001).

Managing tourism can be a very difficult role. Authorities realise that tourism is crucial in the local economy but are also aware that the area is also being increasingly threatened. Some areas attract more people than others and close monitoring by park authorities ensures that as little damage is done where possible.

The Yorkshire Dales Authority produced a management strategy plan in 1996 to combat the potential conflict between the “growth of tourism and the conservation of the countryside” (, 2001). More information about the “Traffic and Visitor Management Strategy” can be found at

The National Park Authorities maintains that it is “in the interests of all involved” (, 2001) to preserve this area of natural beauty (Figure 11).

4.0 Conclusion

This report has covered the factors that influence physical environmental pressures in UK National Parks. How Pembrokeshire Coast NPA manages and repair erosion damage, and how The Yorkshire Dales Authorities cope with tourism and the environment.

Above all, education of the general public is the first vital step in the preservation of our countryside.

5.0 References

Evans, R. 1996. Soil erosion and its impacts in England and Wales.
London: Friends of the Earth Trust.

Merrilees, D and McKnight, G. 2002. Agriculture and the Environment [On-line]. SAC.
Available from:
[Accessed 22 Nov 2005].

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. 2005a. Erosion [On-line]. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Available from: [Accessed 24 Nov 2005].

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. 2005b. Home [On-line]. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Available from: [Accessed 24 Nov 2005].

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. 2001a. Home [On-line]. Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Available from: [Accessed 24 Nov 2005].

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. 2001b. Tourism: a balancing act [On-line]. Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Available from: [Accessed 24 Nov 2005].

Thanks for reading :D


you did a great job. you included everything that explains why national parks should become regular in countries so that industry does not destroy everything. great paper! :thumbsup: