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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: June 2012

15 - Nature conservation and biodiversity: the technique of designation



In this Part, on the legal mechanisms for controlling land use and development, we have traced the roots of a division between controls over urban and country areas to the post-war land settlement (see especially pp. 479–87). We explained that the reason for the exclusion of agricultural and forestry activities from the scope of the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1947 (the title of the Act being something of a misnomer) was the assumption that there would be no conflict between the production of food and wood, and the protection of the environment. This has clearly proved not to be the case. In this and the next chapter, we focus upon the current state of law seeking to secure the conservation of nature, applying mainly to the countryside and developed primarily in response to what William Adams calls the ‘industrialisation of agriculture’. The consequences for nature of this phenomenon, in particular the fragmentation of natural areas, are described below. In the following passage, Adams also introduces the (imperfect) idea of designating areas of land for special protection, which constitutes the main legal technique in nature conservation law and policy.

William M. Adams, Future Nature: A Vision for Conservation (Earthscan, 2003), pp. 117–18

The industrialisation of agriculture … has everywhere tended to produce landscapes that are limited in their diversity. […]

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