Protected area categoriesand the National Trust Simon Pryor Natural Environment Director
Outline• National Trust’s purpose and assets• What types of land and habitats do we protect?• Categories of protected areas on the NT estate• ‘Inalienability’• Some questions about categories• Applying Protected Area concept strategically• Thinking ‘Beyond our boundaries’
The National Trust• Established by statute over 100 years ago• England, Wales and N Ireland• 100m visits, 4m members, 55,000 volunteers• Core purpose: “To protect places of historicinterest and natural beauty, permanently and forthe benefit of the nation”
Inalienable landOnce declared ‘inalienable’ the property (land or building)cannot be sold, given away or mortgagedNor compulsorily purchased against the Trust’s wisheswithout special permission from ParliamentBut can be leased, altered and even built onOnly declared ‘after sober reflection’Cannot be reversed or adjusted‘Inalienable’ not defined in the legislationNot used ‘tactically’ to protect areas under threatPresumption that most land acquired will be declared.Providing it is of ‘inalienable quality’Current exercise to produce a definitive digital map
Questions re protected areas on the NT estate1. Do some of our sites qualify as Category 1a?2. Should some of the larger scale properties, and Heritage Coast, qualify as Category II ‘National Parks’?3. Should veteran trees be treated as Category III ‘Natural Monuments’?4. What proportion of NT land qualifies as Category IV v. Category V?5. Should managed ancient or semi-natural woodlands qualify as Category IV?
Some ‘strategic thoughts’ on protected areas• Does all tenanted farmland qualify?• What do the different types of designation add?• Risk based protection and the red tape challenge• Protection through public concern (forests and NPPF)• Other categorisations of countryside sites A different categorisation of sites for nature: • Wow! • Fascinating • Lovely • Important
Thinking ‘Beyond our boundaries’• What should our acquisition policy be?– Should we take on publicly owned land that is in jeopardy?– Should we not take on sites with legal protection?• Should we be making more of theTrust’s inalienable land protection?• Can we help others protect otherspecial sites or concentrate on the oneswe own?
Summary• National Trust’s particular role in protecting whole landscapes• Categorisation and bench marking of the protection we provideis useful - but not straightforward• Can we make more use of the ‘inalienability’ tool?• Working more ‘beyond our boundaries’• People valuing nature is the highest form of protection
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