The two purposes of National Parks are, in short,
Considering the economic and social well-being of the community is also a duty.
Most of the time it is possible to achieve both by good management. Occasionally a situation arises where access for the public is in direct conflict with conservation. Following the Sandford principle, the Environment Act 1995 sets down that in such cases conservation must take priority. Similar provision has been made for Scottish national parks.
The Sandford Principle is often misquoted as "conservation has priority over recreation"; however, importantly, it is better summarised as, "where those two purposes cannot be reconciled by skilful management, conservation should come first".
The Sandford Principle was first used in UK National Park management, and is still most commonly encountered in that context. However, where this dilemma has occurred in the management of other sites where public pressure and wildlife conservation might be in conflict, the principle has been quoted in the discussions about how to proceed. Although its legal force is restricted to National Parks, it seems as though this important principle may have wider uses.
Dismay as huge plantation goes ahead despite farming and wildlife concerns; Festive trees bring no joy to village
Aug 10, 2000; APPROVAL was given yesterday for a massive Christmas tree plantation near the Stirlingshire village of Gartmore, provoking bitter...