It is an honour to be speaking at this conference, the first attempt at an overview of the history of the park and its changing role. It is held at a critical time, when the future ownership and management of these major landscapes is under discussion.
The local importance of these landscapes is obvious; for leisure, for tourism, for views, for wildlife. Culturally, they are important at a European level, rare survivors of the royal past.
So, whatever your interests, come along, listen and contribute.