National Parks

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    THE winter number of the Tree Lover (3, No. 26, De la More Press, 2a Cork Street, London, W.I) includes an article on the case for national parks, which deals with the report of the Standing Committee on National Parks. In discussing this important question, many fall into the mistake of comparing Great Britain with Canada, the United States and other countries of the New and Old World of much larger size and with extensive tracts of wild, undeveloped countryside where great national parks or game reserves have been formed. These enthusiasts are apt to forget that Great Britain is, compared with such countries, a very small and densely populated island. This being said, the case for such national parks as are, or may be, feasible is a very strong one. As pointed out in the article in question, such a movement “falls in most signally with the aims of the Health Campaign on which the Government is at present engaged. If abundance of Playing Fields is essential for this, still more essential is the provision, or preservation, of national ‘walking grounds’, and regions where young and old alike can find refreshment and inspiration in the enjoyment of unspoilt Nature”. The proposals of the Standing Committee on National Parks are well known. The chief question in connexion with these proposals is where the money is to come from. The suggestion is the Treasury. There is also a considerable body of influential opinion which considers that this question is one for the general public. That in fact if the public really want the national parks a fund should be opened to provide the money for their formation and upkeep; that the British public will attach a greater value to, and have a greater interest in, the maintenance of national parks provided by their own endeavour than if they are more or less controlled by the Government and therefore nobody's child.

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    National Parks. Nature 143, 1061 (1939) doi:10.1038/1431061b0

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