Changes in the land use structure, which are observed in recent years, generally indicate their negative impact on ecological quality considered in the landscape scale. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether such a trend also applies to protected areas, such as land-scape parks (LP). As research areas four parks located within the Roztocze and Solska Forest (Poland) were selected. Three factors were analyzed as an surrogate indicators of the ecological quality: the degree of anthropogenic transformation of land cover forms, landscape diversity and the degree of landscape fragmentation. The study included data for the years 2004 and 2012 and was based on the GIS and orthophotomaps analysis. The results showed a lack of general trends for the whole analyzed region. The impact of changes in the land use structure on the ecological values can be defined as positive for Krasnobród LP and South Roztocze LP. In the case of Szczebrzeszyn LP and Solska Forest LP the impact is difficult to determine due to the different results obtained on the basis of selected indicators. Therefore, in order to totally illustrate the analyzed dependence the landscape structure in other periods of time should be analyzed, as well as the correlations between the defined changes and a variety of natural and cultural considerations.
The article presents the problem of the settlements development in the Ojców National Park (ONP) and its buffer zone, both located in the suburban area of Cracow (Poland). The aim of the research was to recognize the social perception of this phenomenon, as well as the residents opinion about the limitations in spatial management related to the functioning of the Park. Interviews were made among 204 residents, and 40 representatives of local self-governments, cultural institutions, associations, administrators of tourist facilities and entrepreneurs. The local community perceives constraints in the new buildings construction and in enlargement or modernization of the existing ones as the main problem for people living in the ONP or its buffer zone. Driven by their particular interests, residents advocate the further development of the settlements and tourist infrastructure within the Park and the buffer zone, the liberalization of regulations, and even the liquidation of the Park’s buffer zone. They do not understand that the natural and landscape values (highly appreciated by them) can be degraded due to these activities.
The goal of the studies undertaken in Polish national parks was to determine noise threats, examine the resources, assess the quality of soundscapes and identify the possibilities of their protection. The questionnaire method used in the studies made it possible to identify the awareness of noise threats and the value of soundscapes according to the park service staff. In addition, the semantic differential and description methods were used to learn how students assessed the soundscape quality of Polish national parks. Finally, avenues of further research on soundscape in environmentally valuable areas were indicated. The research findings indicate that each national park in Poland is characterised by diverse and unique soundscapes and is subject to the pressure of road traffic and tourism resulting in noise hazards. The conservation of the acoustic values of parks is necessary and possible.