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Protected Areas for the Future: Models from the Past

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This paper discusses the complexity of the protected area mosaic that has evolved in the United Kingdom over the past 40 or so years. Experimental matrices have been used to assist in the analysis of the various types of protected areas. The trend has been towards the development of protected areas to serve multiple objectives, although categories of protected area introduced under European legislation are more narrowly defined. There has been a proliferation in the number of categories of protected area in the past ten years; since 1990 six new categories of protected area have been established, two resulting from European directives. Most of the protected areas operate indirectly through the planning system and/or voluntary agreements. However, a distinction is drawn between systems for nature conservation and landscape protection with the former relying more on direct controls (ownership and/or legal force). There is considerable potential overlap of protected areas. New categories of protected area have often been superimposed upon the existing system without consideration of whether they will result in duplication of effort, expenditure etc. We conclude that there is scope for some rationalization of the system. Ideally this would involve replacing existing protected areas with broader based ones but considerable simplification could be obtained in practice by making the powers of the agencies more flexible and changing the administrative arrangements for managing the various protected areas.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1997

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