What do we mean by beauty?

  • Contributor information: CNP

20 June 2018

We are launching our #summerofbeauty campaign but in the context of National Parks what does beauty mean? Andrew Hall takes a look in the first of our #summerofbeauty blogs.

What does natural beauty mean?

Beauty can stop us in our tracks in wonder, create enduring

memories and raise expectations of ourselves and each other


– Dame Fiona Reynolds, from the preface of her book The Fight for Beauty.

Beauty is a difficult concept to pin down meaning many things to many people but it is also something we all appreciate in our day to day lives. In our nature deprived society bringing the beauty of the great outdoors into our lives is more important than ever.

The original first purpose of the National Parks in the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was stated as ‘preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the areas’ and natural beauty was defined as ‘including flora, fauna, and geological and physiographical features’.

For Campaign for National Parks, beauty has always more than just aesthetics. National Parks are more than a pretty picture, they’re an essential part of our identity. They’re homes that are loved, places of work, habitats for wildlife and a desitnation of adventure.

What do we mean by natural beauty?

Does natural beauty include cultural heritage? Communities, wildlife?

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the legislation that underpins the English and Welsh National Parks, the Parks remain as important and valuable as ever. But the Parks are far from perfect. We want to make the parks even more beautiful.

Herringfleet Mill, the Broads

There’s beauty in all the National Parks. Herringfleet Mill, in the Broads. Photo credit: the Broads Authority.

But what does even more beautiful mean?

  • We want to see National Parks full of diverse wildlife. Experiencing nature and wild animal/plantlife is a big part of enjoying National Parks as well as important to the functioning of our landscapes
  • We want National Parks where landscapes are free and safe from inappropriate development that could alter the Parks forever
  • National Parks need to include quality, affordable housing that enhances the landscape they’re in. 

How can you get involved?

Just imagine looking out from the hillside onto a Park free from eye-sores, with high quality housing and teeming with animals. Achieving this won’t be easy. There is not a simple solution. But with your support we will throw a spotlight onto the many complex issues facing nature and landscapes in the National Parks.

We need you to share with us your thoughts, memories and photos using #summerofbeauty to help us celebrate the beauty of the Parks!

by Andrew Hall, Campaign for National Parks