April 17, 1951The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's first National Park.
The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire. An area of great diversity, it is conventionally split into the northern Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and whose geology is gritstone, and the southern White Peak, where most of the population lives and where the geology is mainly limestone-based. Most of the area falls within the Peak District National Park, whose designation in 1951 made it the first national park in the British Isles. Proximity to the major cities of Manchester and Sheffield and the counties of Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire and South and West Yorkshire, coupled with easy access by road and rail, have contributed to its popularity. With an estimated 22 million visitors per year, the Peak District is thought to be the second most-visited national park in the world (after the Mount Fuji National Park in Japan), though the Peak District National Park Authority believe these figures are incorrect or unsubstantiated, estimating around 10 million people visit annually.