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October 13, 2009

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has teamed up with the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to launch a project aimed at creating a lasting record of two Dales reservoirs.

The project is part of 60th anniversary celebrations of the passing of the Act that led to the creation of national parks and AONBs, and will involve community and schools groups from inside and outside the two areas.

London creative writer Alice Maddicott has been employed the YDNPA to lead workshops at Grimwith Reservoir near Hebden in the National Park and Scar House Reservoir in Nidderdale.

Yorkshire Water owns both reservoirs and carries out a wide range of wildlife, access and recreational initiatives to help the public enjoy these special places.

Karen Griffiths, the YDNPA’s Interpretation Officer, said: “These workshops are aimed at producing poems and stories that celebrate the special qualities of the two sites.

“Both reservoirs have great stories attached to them. Scar House had a whole town built for the construction workers, of which only the foundations now remain, while Grimwith is in a wild landscape surrounded by heather and has submerged farms and barns under its surface.

“They are both atmospheric places that we hope will provide a fantastic inspiration for the people in the workshops.”

The Nidderdale workshops started this week with a group of year six children from Bilton Grange primary school in Harrogate, and a group of adults from the local area. They will continue over the next week with three more groups from primary schools in the AONB.

Leanne Fox, the AONB’s Information Officer, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to work with the YDNPA on this project and to celebrate the special qualities of both protected areas, which share a common boundary.

“It gives us the chance to work with a variety of groups and capture the different responses to our special landscapes. We hope the work produced during this project will inspire other people, as well as providing an insight for future generations.”

The Grimwith workshops will begin early next month (November) and will include Black and minority ethnic families from Keighley.

All the stories and poems will be put together to create a lasting legacy of the 60th anniversary that will be accessible on the YDNPA and Nidderdale AONB websites and permanent interpretation boards around Grimwith Reservoir.

The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was passed in 1949 and paved the way for the creation of today's family of 14 UK National Parks, 49 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 294 National Nature Reserves and 2,900 miles of National Trails.

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