A short history

The Campaign for National Parks was born in 1936 out of a commitment by a group of outdoor enthusiasts who wanted Britain’s finest landscapes to be protected permanently for everyone to enjoy.

Standing Committee member Tom Stephenson leading labour MPs on the Pennine Way in 1948 (Ramblers' Association)

Originally known as the Standing Committee on National Parks, we led the fight to secure the 1949 Act of Parliament that led to the creation of National Parks. 

Joining forces

In 1936, amid calls for greater countryside access and a growing appreciation of the outdoors, representatives from the Rambler’s Association, the Youth Hostels’ Association, the Council for the Preservation for Rural England and the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales set up the Standing Committee to argue the case for National Parks and urge the Government to act, which it did in 1949.

 In the following years, the charity concentrated on strengthening the powers and funding of National Parks and was vigilant in monitoring proposals that would undermine the Parks’ natural beauty and enjoyment.

A collective passion

To this day the Campaign for National Parks thrives on the spirit of partnership that brought about National Parks, with around 40 national environmental charities and amenity members who rely on us to campaign on their behalf. Together, we continue to fight passionately to fulfil the original aspirations of those early pioneers to safeguard these beautiful landscapes for ever.