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'National parks are areas of great natural beauty giving opportunity for open-air recreation, established so that national beauty can be preserved and enhanced, and so that the enjoyment of the scenery by the public can be promoted''.

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Introduction

20.9.02 Geography 'Loved to Death' 'National parks are areas of great natural beauty giving opportunity for open-air recreation, established so that national beauty can be preserved and enhanced, and so that the enjoyment of the scenery by the public can be promoted''. This is the aim of the National Parks established by the government, and although a brilliant idea in theory, the above statement has posed a series or serious problems. Is it possible for the National Parks to be enjoyed by the general public whilst also preserving the beauty and peace of these places? Are the National Parks loved to death? Let us focus on The Lake District, where this conflict of interests is most apparent. The Lake District attracts 12 million visitors a year, who love visiting the park for its tranquillity, as Chris Boddington, a spokesperson for the Parks, says, 'The use we make of the hills is more than just recreation. It represents the chance of recharging batteries in lives that are becoming more pressurised and technologically based.' Many other activities are enjoyed at the Park as well. ...read more.

Middle

But the townspeople are reliant on the income from tourism. These small villages and towns which are aimed for the tourist trade are known as 'honey pots' (as in bees to honey), and face more problems aside from property prices. The roads in these small areas can't cope with the numbers of people travelling to the Lake District (which is close to the M6) in cars. The car parks and coach parks fill up by 11 am. The traffic fills the towns with noise pollution and air pollution. The people leave the roads in bad condition. And then the tourists visit the mountains and walks and the problem grows. Footpath erosion (as can be seen from my poster) is a huge problem in the Lake District too. 87% of people who visit the park use the foot paths, and this is leading to serious erosion of the landscape, to the extent that the scars in the land can be seen from satellites. The people using the footpaths are disrespectful to the landscape, littering, and straying from the walks. This is a problem because the land is all privately owned - largely by farmers. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is suggested that footpath erosion could be improved by building artificial paths, although people complain they wish to experience the landscape as it is. Another idea is that of zoning, which involves closing off particularly badly eroded areas until they rejuvenate and there switch the restriction to elsewhere. Also to encourage people to certain areas of the parks so that other areas can be protected. Unfortunately it within no ones rights to decide that one area is more important than another. On Lake Windermere, where 8,000 power boats are used at one time, a speed limit may be imposed although it is deemed likely that people will simply go elsewhere in the park to use their boats instead. Maybe by placing car parks further away from hotspots it will discourage people from visiting, but this is an impossible solution for everything. In light of all this information it is my opinion that the Lake District is being loved to death. I believe that if things continue as they have been the scenery and landscapes loved so well will be destroyed. I disagree that there is a solution to all these problems, and if there is, it is yet to be found. Otherwise, there won't be any Parks left to visit. Camille Watts ...read more.

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