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South Pennines Regional Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The South Pennines Regional Park (or South Pennines Park) is a proposed National Park that would cover the South Pennines area in Northern England. The park would cover a large swathe of Northern England and encompass parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire. It would also adjoin the borders of two existing national parks; the Yorkshire Dales in the north and the Peak District in the south. The area was named as a prospective national park in the 1940s when the idea of creating national parks was being carried forward, but it was never given the same status as the Peak District, North York Moors or the Yorkshire Dales.

The South Pennines Regional Park has been championed by many agencies and charities, but most recently by Pennine Prospects, who were awarded Heritage Lottery Funding and who have advertised nationally for development managers for the job of taking the idea of the park forward. In May 2018, Michael Gove announced a review into Englands' national parks. The South Pennines is the only upland area of England without any designated protection framework.


In 1947, Sir Arthur Hobhouse delivered a report to the UK Government on the establishment of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This in turn led to the passing of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949.[1] The creation of the parks and AONBs was seen as a "recreational gift to Britain’s returning Second World War service men and women".[2] By 2018, Britain had 15 National Parks and England had 34 AONBs; ten of the National parks are in England, Wales has three and Scotland has two.[note 1][3] In the original list drawn up by Hobhouse, but not published, was the area of the South Pennines. However, it was decided that due to the industrial heritage of the region, it would not be appropriate to list the site for protection under either National Park status or as an AONB.[4]

Rossendale Way Footpath
Rossendale Way Footpath

In May 2018, the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, announced a review into the National Parks. Writing in The Telegraph, Gove stated that the intent was to review their function but not to "diminish the protection of natural areas, but to strengthen it in the face of present-day challenges." This could lead to new National Parks or certain AONBs being upgraded in their status.[5][6][7]

The South Pennines is a large upland area that extends from East Lancashire across West Yorkshire and touches Greater Manchester and the Peak District in the south.[8] The region is the only upland area in England without National Park status or designated protected framework although various individual sections have some protected status (such as the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) which covers more than 65,000 hectares (160,000 acres) and describes moorland which has 9,000 year-old peatlands).[9] The South Pennines has 15 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and 2,604 miles (4,190 km) of paths and bridleways including two national trails (the Pennine Way and the Pennine Bridleway).[10] After the announcement by Michael Gove, Pennine Prospects,[note 2][11] a rural regeneration agency, urged the committee overseeing the National Parks review to not forget the South Pennines.[12] Pennine Prospects achieved Local Nature Partnership (LNP) status in 2012; the boundary of the LNP will mirror that of the National Character Area profile designated as the South Pennines.[13]

In 2018, Pennine Prospects was awarded Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for training and providing information in the designation of a Regional Park, the first of its kind in the country. Pennine Prospects stated before the National Parks review that rather than wait for government approval in a designated status, they would work from the ground up to achieve regional park status.[14]


According to Pennine Prospects and the National Character Area No. 36, the South Pennines Regional Park would encompass the following villages, towns and areas.[8][10][15][note 3]


  1. ^ There is a movement to create Britains' first Marine park off the coast of the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
  2. ^ Pennine Prospects was set up in 2005 to promote the South Pennines area and brings together six local authorities (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Lancashire, Oldham and Rochdale) with other interested stakeholders (Natural England, Historic England and the National Trust) and the major landowners (United Utilities and Yorkshire Water).
  3. ^ The final boundaries are undecided at the moment and so this list is not exhaustive and some places on the list may not end up in the park if it is created.


  1. ^ "National Parks review launched". 27 May 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  2. ^ Stubley, Peter (26 May 2018). "New national parks could be created as Michael Gove launches review of England's natural landscape". The Independent. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  3. ^ Milmo, Cahal (2 April 2009). "The Big Question: What are national parks, and why do we have so many". The Independent. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  4. ^ Spracken, Karl (2016). "5. Millstone Grit, Blackstone Edge; Literary Heritage and Tourism in the South Pennines, England". In Hooper, Glenn (ed.). Heritage and Tourism in Britain and Ireland (1 ed.). London: Macmillan. pp. 73–74. ISBN 978-1-137-52082-1.
  5. ^ "England could have new national parks". BBC News. 27 May 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  6. ^ Gove, Michael (26 May 2018). "Our National Parks are a magnificent asset that needs protecting. How can we make them even better?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. ^ Kennedy, Maev (27 May 2018). "England may get more national parks after protected areas review". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  8. ^ a b "NCA Profile: 36 Southern Pennines - NE323" (PDF). 2014. p. 3. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  9. ^ "South Pennine Moors - Special Area of Conservation - SAC - Habitats Directive". Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b "The campaign to establish the South Pennines as a regional park". 10 July 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Conference To Explore The Landscape Of Opportunity That Is The South Pennines". Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  12. ^ McNamara, Felicity (11 June 2018). "'Don't forget the South Pennines', Government urged". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Pennine Prospects | Local Nature Partnership | The South Pennines Local Nature Partnership". Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  14. ^ Shand, Alistair (25 August 2018). "Ambitious plan for South Pennines 'regional park' moves step closer". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  15. ^ "South Pennines Map". Retrieved 31 August 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 May 2020, at 09:31
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