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The Italian Park Portal

Parks, Reserves, and Other Protected Areas in the

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irland

the United Kingdom

Dependencies or Areas of Special Sovereignty

Protected Areas in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irland

National Parks in England, Scotland and Wales
The UK’s 14 National Parks are part of a global family of 6,555 protected areas, covering one million square kilometres or 12% of the Earth’s surface. We are linked to Europe through the EUROPARC Federation – a network of European protected areas with 360 member organisations in 37 countries.
There are 9 National Parks in England, 3 in Wales and 2 in Scotland, they are:

  • England: Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales;
  • Wales: Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia;
  • Scotland: Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

The South Downs is proposed as a National Park and its designation is currently under review.

Source: National Parks Portal

Great Britain

Protected Areas in England
England’s natural environment is unique and makes a major contribution to national and regional character. Our geology, soils, landscapes and their biodiversity along with our marine and coastal ecosystems are a rich inheritance.
In England there are 8 National Parks plus the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, which has equivalent status, 36 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), 222 National Nature Reserves covering over 92,000 hectares, over 1,280 Local Nature Reserves (July 2006), over 4,000 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation, Heritage Coasts, and Marine Protected Areas.

Natural England
Natural England works towards the delivery of four strategic outcomes, which together deliver on our purpose to conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of current and future generations.
Natural England was formed by bringing together English Nature, the landscape, access and recreation elements of the Countryside Agency and the environmental land management functions of the Rural Development Service.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them.
There are 40 AONBs in England and Wales (35 wholly in England, 4 wholly in Wales and 1 which straddles the border). Created by the legislation of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949, AONBs represent 18% of the Finest Countryside in England and Wales.
There are also 9 AONBs in Northern Ireland - and a further two (Erne Lakeland and Fermanagh Caveland) are proposed.

Sources: Natural England, The National Association for AONBs,

The United Kingdom - England - South West


South West

National Parks

  • Dartmoor National Park (www)
  • Exmoor National Park (www)
  • New Forest (www)


  • Blackdown Hills (www)
  • Cornwall (www)
  • Cotswolds (www)
  • Cranborne and West Wiltshire Downs (www)
  • Dorset (www)
  • East Devon (www)
  • Isles of Scilly (www)
  • Malvern Hills (www)
  • Mendip Hills (www)
  • North Devon (www)
  • North Wessex Downs (www)
  • Quantock Hills (www)
  • South Devon (www)
  • Tamar Valley (www)
  • Wye Valley (www)

The United Kingdom - England - South East


South East

National Parks

  • New Forest (www)
  • South Downs (www)


  • Chichester Harbour (www)
  • Chilterns (www)
  • Cotswolds (www)
  • East Hampshire (www)
  • High Weald (www)
  • Isle of Wight (www)
  • Kent Downs (www)
  • North Wessex Downs (www)
  • South Hampshire Coast
  • Surrey Hills (www)
  • Sussex Downs (Heritage Coast, www)

The United Kingdom - England - West Midlands


West Midlands

National Parks

  • Peak District National Park (www)


  • Cannock Chase (www)
  • Cotswolds (www)
  • Malvern Hills (www)
  • Shropshire Hills (www)
  • Wye Valley (www)

The United Kingdom - England - East of England


East of England

National Parks

  • The Broads National Park (www)


  • Chilterns (www)
  • Dedham Vale (www)
  • Norfolk Coast (www)
  • Suffolk Coast and Heaths (www)

The United Kingdom - England - East Midlands


East Midlands

National Parks

  • Peak District National Park (www)


  • Lincolnshire Wolds (www)

The United Kingdom - England - Yorkshire and Humber


Yorkshire and Humber

National Parks

  • North York Moors National Park (www)
  • Peak District National Park (www)
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park (www)


  • Forest of Bowland (www)
  • Howardian Hills (www)
  • Lincolnshire Wolds (www)
  • Nidderdale (www)

The United Kingdom - England - North West


North West

National Parks

  • Lake District National Park (www)
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park (www)


  • Arnside and Silverdale (www)
  • Forest of Bowland (www)
  • North Pennines (www)
  • Solway Coast (www)

The United Kingdom - England - North East


North East

National Parks

  • Northumberland National Park (www)


  • North Pennines (www)
  • Northumberland Coast (Heritage Coast, www)

The United Kingdom - Wales


National Parks

  • Brecon Beacons National Park (www)
  • Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (www)
  • Snowdonia National Park (www)


  • Anglesey / Ynys Mon (www)
  • Clwydian Range / Bryniau Clwyd (www)
  • Gower /Gwyr
  • Lleyn / Llyn
  • Wye Valley / Dyffryn Gwy (www)
Protected Areas in Wales
The importance of Wales’ iconic natural beauty to the country’s wealth, health and well-being has been legally acknowledged since 1949. The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act designated 3 National Parks in Wales and set up what evolved into the Countryside Council for Wales.
Moreover, there are five AONBs in Wales spread across the country, including a range of different landscapes.

Source: Countryside Council for Wales - Landscape&Wildlife

The United Kingdom - Scotland


National Parks

  • Cairngorms National Park (www)
  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (www)

National Scenic Areas

  • Assynt-Coigach
  • Ben Nevis and Glen Coe
  • Cuillin Hills
  • Deeside and Lochnagar
  • Dornoch Firth
  • East Stewartry Coast
  • Eildon and Leaderfoot
  • Fleet Valley
  • Glen Affric (NNR, www)
  • Glenn Strathfarrar (NNR, www)
  • Hoy and West Mainland
  • Jura
  • Kintail
  • Knapdale
  • Knoydart (www)
  • Kyle of Tongue
  • Kyles of Bute
  • Loch Lomond
  • Loch Rannoch and Glenlyon
  • Loch Sheil
  • Loch Tummel
  • Loch na Keal
  • Lynn of Lorn
  • Morar, Moidart and Ardnamurchan
  • Nith Estuary
  • North Arran
  • North west Sutherland
  • River Earn (Comrie and St. Fillans)
  • River Tay (Dunkeld)
  • Scarba, Lunga and the Garvellachs
  • Shetland
  • South Lewis, Harris and North Uist
  • South Uist Machair
  • St. Kilda (NNR, www)
  • The Cairngorm Mountains
  • The Small Isles
  • The Trossachs
  • Trotternish
  • Upper Tweeddale
  • Wester Ross

Regional Parks

  • Clyde-Muirshiel Regional Park (www)
  • Five
  • Pentland Hills (www)
Protected Areas in Scotland

The Scottish Natural Heritage and National Parks in Scotland
SNH played a key role in the establishment of Scotland’s National Parks, and we continue to have close involvement in the management of these areas. To facilitate this work and the development of good working relationships with the Park Authorities and other relevant bodies in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and the Cairngorms, we have developed a policy statement. This statement sets out SNH's priorities for work concerning National Parks under three headings:

  • Supporting the successful establishment and operation of National Parks;
  • Promoting the care, enjoyment understanding and sustainable use of the natural heritage within National Parks; and
  • championing the concept of National Parks as part of the family of designations which help to conserve and enhance Scotland's natural heritage and its enjoyment by the public.

National Scenic Areas
National Scenic Areas are Scotland’s only national landscape designation, corresponding to the AONBs of the rest of the country (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). They are those areas of land considered of national significance on the basis of their outstanding scenic interest which must be conserved as part of the country’s natural heritage. They have been selected for their characteristic features of scenery comprising a mixture of richly diverse landscapes including prominent landforms, coastline, sea and freshwater lochs, rivers, woodlands and moorlands.
There are currently 40 NSA’s in Scotland, covering a total land area of 1,020,500 ha and a marine area of 357,900 ha.

National Nature Reserves
At 31 March 2007 there were 63 NNRs in Scotland, covering approximately 112,000 hectares, ranging from wide expanses of mountain scenery to ancient woodlands and from remote islands to lowland lochs. Each of these magical places offers a peaceful haven where people can enjoy and better understand our superb natural heritage.

Source: Scottish Natural Heritage, Scotland's National Nature Reserves

The United Kingdom - Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland


  • Antrim Coast and Glens
  • Causeway Coast
  • Lagan Valley
  • Lecale Coast
  • Morne
  • North Derry
  • Ring of Gullion
  • Sperrin
  • Strangford Lough



Nature Reserves

  • Upper Rock

Marine Reserves

  • Gibraltar

Botanic Gardens

  • Alameda (www)
Protected Areas in Gibraltar
The Nature Protection Ordinance 1991 provides for the designation and preservation of protected areas. The Gibraltar Nature Conservancy Council was created by this Ordinance. It is charged with overall responsibility for nature protection (Part IV Section 20) and is empowered to enforce the Ordinance. This body has the authority to appoint wildlife wardens and honorary voluntary wardens.

Nature Reserves
Since the first designation of a part of the Upper Rock of Gibraltar as a nature reserve, the entire area of the Upper Rock is now a nature reserve. The area is managed by Sights Management Ltd. on behalf of the Government of Gibraltar; its responsibilities include control of the Barbary macacque Macaca sylvanus population. Visitors to the reserve are charged an entrance fee which also includes access to tourist sites of historical interest.

Marine Reserves
A marine reserve was declared with effect from 1 January 1996, covering all of Gibraltar's territorial waters. Capture of wildlife is prohibited, including fishing with nets and raking of the seabed, under the principle Ordinance (Nature Protection Ordinance 1991). Due to technical difficulties the full effect of the designating Regulation has not yet been brought to bear.

Botanical Gardens
Opened in 1816, adjacent to a historic parade ground, the gardens present a magnificent botanical collection.

Source: Joint Nature Conservation Committee

St. Helena

Saint Helena

National Parks

  • Diana's Peak
Protected Areas in Saint Helena
The UK and St Helena have ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity which rules that countries 'shall develop national strategies, plans or programmes for conservation'.
Local responsibility for the conservation of the endemic biota on St Helena rests with the Agricultural and Natural Resources Department's Environmental Conservation Section. The biota of St Helena represents a unique assemblage of endemic species.

Source: Saint Helena - The Official Government Web Site

Turks and Caicos Islands

National Parks

  • Chalk Sound
  • Conch Bar Caves
  • East Bay Islands
  • South Creek

Marine National Parks

  • Columbus Landfall
  • North West Point
  • West Caicos

Land and Sea National Parks

  • Admiral Cockburn
  • Fort George
  • Grand Turk Cays
  • Princess Alexandra

Nature Reserves

  • Admiral Cockburn
  • Bell Sound
  • Cottage Pond
  • Dick Hill Creek and Bellefield Landing Pond
  • East Harbour Conch and Lobster Reserve
  • Lake Catherine
  • North, Middle and East Caicos
  • North West Point Pond
  • Pigeon Pond and Frenchman’s Creek
  • Princess Alexandra
  • Pumpkin Bluff Pond
  • Vine Point (Man O’ War Bush) and Ocean Hole


  • Big Sand Cay
  • French, Bush and Seal Cays
  • Long Cay
  • Three Mary Cays

Areas of Historical Interest

  • Boiling Hole
  • Cheshire Hall
  • Fort George
  • H.M.S. Endymion Wreck
  • Molasses Reef Wreck
  • Salt Cay
  • Sapodilla Hill
Protected Areas in Turks and Caicos Islands
The National Parks of Turks and Caicos Islands are protected under the law in the Turks and Caicos Islands National Park Ordinance (1989). This ordinance establishes regulations for four different categories of Protected Area: National Park, Nature Reserve, Sanctuary, and Area of Historical Interest.
The Protected Area Division, popularly known as the National Parks Division, has responsibility for the overall management and protection of the National Parks, Reserves, Sanctuaries and Historic Sites. One third of the land area and vast tracts of inshore waters and reefs have been included in the Protected Area System.
Another major constituent in the management of the Protected Areas is the valued participation of the Turks & Caicos National Trust, a non-governmental organization that manages some of the Protected Areas, such as Little Water Cay, a part of Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve, and Cheshire Hall Area of Historic Interest.

There are also some proposed protected areas, including Little Ambergris Cay Proposed Nature Reserve and Wades Green Proposed Area of Historical Interest.

Source: Department of Environment & Coastal Resources

Virgin Islands, British

National Parks

  • Fallen Jerusalem
  • Great Tobago
  • J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens
  • Mount Healthy
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Sage Mountain
  • The Baths
  • The Dogs

Marine National Parks

  • Wreck of the Rhone
Protected Areas in the British Virgin Islands
The BVI National Parks Trust currently manages 17 National Parks. These include 15 terrestrial parks and one marine park, Wreck of the Rhone. Several of the parks are off shore islands such as Great Tobago, The Dogs, and Fallen Jerusalem.
Management includes preservation of all flora and fauna within the parks, maintenance, constant upgrading of facilities such as trails, interpretation and picnic sites, to improve the visitor's experience and scientific research. Each park is managed through a Management Plan. Moreover, the National Parks Trust has a Systems Plan that guides the selection of all areas designated for protection.

Source: BVI National Parks Trust