The legal protection of limestone pavements in Great Britain
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The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was passed to provide strengthened legal protection for threatened wildlife and environmental features in Britain. Limestone pavements were included specifically in section 34 of this act because their unique features were being damaged or destroyed through various causes. Limestone Pavement Orders (LPOs) are made under this act. This review considers why this protection became necessary, how the legislation is being implemented, what problems have arisen during implementation, and what progress has been made in making LPOs. Enforcement of the law, monitoring of sites after LPOs have been made, and management of pavement sites are discussed with reference to limestone pavements in NW England. Effectiveness of the legislation is difficult to assess because legal processes are incomplete, but there are indications that it is being effective in Britain. However, commercial threats to these landforms may simply have been shifted to Eire. The British experience with legal protection of these fragile karst features may aid conservationists in other nations.
Key wordsLegal protection Limestone pavements
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