The United Kingdom has fifteen National Parks, stretching from Dartmoor in Southwest England to Cairngorms in Northern Scotland. The National Parks are protected areas because of their unique countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. Park land is largely privately owned but each park is managed by its own National Park Authority. The Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA) works with each of these authorities across the UK to help promote the coordination and sharing of resources, knowledge and services between the Parks. In addition, it works to raise the profile of the Parks in the public eye.
The National Parks are funded by central government, and like all government-funded bodies in the current climate of austerity, the Parks are feeling ongoing pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. One of the simplest ways to do this was to promote greater sharing of knowledge, services and resources between the various authorities. ANPA recognised that a streamlined CMS platform could be utilised, but also individually tailored for all of the parks would solve this issue.
With more than fifteen parks to service, the new platform needed to be developed based on common requirements while also being able to accommodate individual differences between each park.
When the project began, each park's site was individually managed, meaning that some required only a little work and others required a complete overhaul. A number of these sites also required the ability to integrate with external systems and databases.
The wide range of users that would eventually update and maintain these websites called for a platform that could facilitate varying degrees of technical skills and know-how.
To aid this process the majority of users were grouped into three main categories: content editors, web editors and system developers.