What is a National Park?

 Welcome to the family…

The Brecon Beacons is one of a family 14 of National Parks in Britain.  To find out more about the other members of this family take a look at The National Parks Portal. Within this, you’ll also find some pages about the Welsh Association of National Parks.

The Brecon Beacons National Park is a ‘Category Five Protected Landscape Area’.  This means that the landscape of our National Park is a ‘protected area’ as defined by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  There are six protected area management categories in all.  These categories cover all the different types of protected area throughout the world.   ‘Category five’ means a protected area managed mainly for landscape conservation and recreation.

In practice this means that we are a ‘living landscape’ or a ‘cultural landscape’.  We are a place where people live and work.  The landscapes remain largely in the hands of the farmers and landowners who have shaped the countryside for generations.  Unlike our family members in the US and elsewhere, we are not a wilderness, there is no entrance gate or entry fee.

Read more in our factsheets:

What are National Parks?  and

National Parks – Origins and Development.

See also:  Our Purposes and Duty

The Campaign for National Parks

The Campaign for National Parks (CNP) is the national charity that campaigns to protect and promote National Parks for the benefit and quiet enjoyment of all.  CNP is an umbrella of nearly 40 environmental and amenity groups across England and Wales.  CNP aims to give the voluntary sector a shared vision and voice on all National Park issues.