LOGIN

Your E-mail
Password  
Remember me
 Forgotten password
SCALETOOL IntroductionDriversBiodiversityPolicies and managementConnectivity and protected areas

Tradition in participation and conservation on private land in the UK

In the UK a strong tradition of protecting important sites for environmental or aesthetic reasons has been observed since the Nature Conservancy Council was formed under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act in 1949. Since this time there have always been statutory nature conservation bodies in the UK. The biggest institutional changes and innovations came with the devolution of responsibilities to separate nature conservation bodies for each UK country in 1990; currently these are Natural England, Scottish National Heritage, Countryside Council for Wales and Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The devolution of these organisations provides more regional control over nature conservation, while the Joint Nature Conservation Council provides an overarching service for the whole of the UK, collating information and designating European protected sites. All of these bodies are funded by grant-in-aid from the UK or devolved governments.

Public participation in UK PAs management is more common than in Greece or Poland. Local land-owners and communities are consulted over plans for nationally and internationally protected sites, and planning policies are particularly inclusive, offering consultation with members of the community, and potentially allowing the designation of locally important green spaces by local communities.

Despite the overall regulatory character of the UK's environmental policy, Europeanization of national environmental policies has pushed towards the adoption of new instruments. Thus, the UK has developed several instruments to address the societal challenges of PAs management. A high proportion of land is owned by individuals, who have a substantial influence on the protection and management of designated sites. Therefore partnerships are often seen in the management of protected sites, with Environmental Stewardship being one of the most important mechanisms for this. Economic instruments also encourage management of protected areas by third parties. The UK is currently considered as one of the EU leaders in adoption and innovation in this area. For example, Capital Tax Relief is used to support the management and protection of heritage land and property by private owners. If land is of outstanding scenic, historic or scientific interest (e.g. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)) then private owners can receive conditional exemptions from capital gains or inheritance tax. The statutory nature conservation bodies decide whether land is exempt from these taxes on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs. In return for tax exemption owners may be required to maintain the land, preserve its character, and allow reasonable public access. Statutory nature conservation bodies such as Natural England monitor such land to ensure the conditions are being adhered to.

Snowdonia National Park, UK. Within the park there are now also a multitude of other local, national and European protections, including 19 designated Natura 2000 sites. Photo by: Anna Scott

Copyright and disclaimer: SCALES and SCALETOOL

CONDITIONS OF USE: We explicitly encourage the use of SCALETOOL. SCALETOOL is freely available for non-commercial use provided you acknowledge SCALES as source. For more extensive access to databases (e.g. for statistical analyses or if you want to contribute data), tools, or background material, please contact the SCALES coordinator (send us email).

All rights reserved. USE THIS SOFTWARE AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE SCALES TEAM WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT DAMAGE OR LOSS CAUSED BY THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THIS SOFTWARE.

© 2010 - 2018 SCALES. All rights reserved.