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Broads Authority

Image showing sail boats and cottage on the BroadsThe Broads does not have a national park designation, however since 1989 it has been given equivalent status with a Broads Authority set up to manage this area.

Looking after The Broads

Broads Authority logoLearn about the Broads, how it is managed, things to do while visiting, navigating on the Broads and more at

Why are the Broads considered National Parks when they haven't been designated?

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act in 1988 set up the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Authority, which began operating as a Special Statutory Authority in 1989.

Through this regulation, the Government recognised that the Broads needed the same level of protection as the national parks of England and Wales. The Broads therefore has the advantage of being considered part of a wider family of national parks, and also have its own tailor-made legislation in order to deal with specific issues in the Broads, notably the protection of navigation interests.

How does the Broads authority differ from other National Park authorities?

The Broads Authority must adhere to the purpose/obligations set out for all National Park authorities, and must additionally protect the interests of navigation.

No purpose takes precedence. In meeting these obligations, the Broads Authority should also take into account:

  • the national importance of the Broads as an area of natural beauty and one which affords opportunities for open air recreation;
  • the desirability of protecting the natural resources of the Broads from damage; and
  • the needs of agriculture and forestry and the economic and social interests of those who live or work in the Broads.

Page last modified: 23 October 2008
Page published: 23 October 2008