29 Jul '11, 3pm

Panoramic views and lots of wildlife: we round up Europe's best national parks

Panoramic views and lots of wildlife: we round up Europe's best national parks

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN], there are a staggering 113,000 national parks worldwide, which cover approximately six per cent of the Earth’s surface – an area larger than all the cultivated land in the world put together. In Europe, there are 359 national parks, including 10 in England, three in Scotland and three in Wales. Although the UK has maintained national parks since the 1950s, the USA was the first to start a national park scheme with the opening of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. The first British park was the Peak District in 1951 and followed the same year by the Lake District, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. In all national parks, whether Uganda’s mountainous Bwindi National Park or the UK’s Lake District, conservation and the environment are the top priority. As Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General says: ‘protected ar...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/out_and_ab...

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