Section 59: Criteria for designating National Parks
167.This section clarifies the requirements that are contained in section 5 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 for designating land in a Park by adding a new subsection (2A) which aligns the criteria with the purposes as set out in section 5(1) of that Act. When considering the natural beauty of land, Natural England may take into account its wildlife and cultural heritage. Additionally, when considering the opportunities that extensive tracts of land afford for open-air recreation, Natural England may take into account the extent to which it is possible to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of their special qualities by the public. This clarification seeks to reinstate the working assumptions that had been made by those involved in the designation process prior to the decision in Meyrick Estate Management Ltd v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs  EWHC 2618 (Admin).