There are more National Park birthday celebrations in April than any other month of the year.
Starting on the 1st (no this is not an April Fool ) The Broads in Norfolk was 29 years young. Having had the equivalent status of a national park since 1989 it was not included in its name until 2015 and then mainly for marketing purposes. Man-made and Britain’s largest protected wetland part of which lies in the city of Norwich. The only national park with a city in it. The Broads National Park is a unique mosaic of gentle landscape, lakes and rivers covering over a 100 square miles. Iconic mills and historic landmarks nestle among miles of waterways, fen, woodland and footpaths while idyllic towns and villages dot the wide landscapes.
Next up celebrating on the 6th is Northumberland National Park, the least populated park and also one of England’s most tranquil locations. Northumberland includes the darkest skies, Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site and the stunning scenery and solitude of the Cheviot Hills. Close by to Hadrian’s Wall is the recently opened The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre.
Also, there is Kielder Water and Forest Park, home to the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe and, at over 250 square miles, the largest working forest in England.
Getting close to retirement ( I don’t think so) at 62.
The 17th sees two National Park birthdays those being The Peak District the first UK National Park which will be celebrating it’s 67th and the Brecon Beacons in South Wales at 61.
The Peak District National Park is in central England. Steep limestone valleys like Dovedale, with its famed stepping stones, and Lathkill Dale characterise the park’s southern area, which is known as White Peak. North, the Dark Peak area has dramatic gritstone ridges and stark moorland plateaus like Kinder Scout, the park’s highest point. The nearby village of Edale marks one end of the iconic Pennine Way footpath.
The Brecon Beacons National Park, which covers 520 square miles – roughly the same area as the London underground system – includes four distinct mountain ranges, 268 scheduled ancient monuments and well over 3000 miles of hedgerow. The entire national park achieved the status of being an International Dark Sky Reserve in February 2013. It is also the home to “Waterfall Country”, one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the Park with steep, tree-lined gorges and an abundance of tumbling water.
Last but certainly not least it’s Scotland’s turn on the 24th with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs reaching a milestone turning 16. It was the first National park of two in Scotland and is centred around Loch Lomond and includes several ranges of hills and The Trossachs. It’s the fourth largest in the British Isles with a total area of 720 sq miles and a boundary of 220 miles in length. It includes 21 Munros (mountains over 3000 feet) and 19 Corbetts (between 2500 and 3000 feet) and two forest parks.
That’s it for a while because we have to wait till August for the next birthday. I won’t say which one so make sure you keep in touch so you don’t miss out on seven further parks celebrating this year.