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Good turnout for first management plan forum

Bainbridge, 24 November, 2017

Representatives from more than 30 organisations met in Ingleton yesterday to discuss the emerging Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan 2018-2023.

People from farming, business and recreational groups, as well as charities and public bodies – including a strong showing from parish councils – gathered in the town’s Community Centre for the first ‘Annual Forum’ on the plan.

They heard presentations from the seven ‘local groups’ that are currently writing objectives for the new plan, and were able to share any concerns and make suggestions.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan is the single most important document for the park. It is produced by a partnership of 16 public, private and voluntary sector organisations (see below).

“We are really getting into the detail of the new plan now,” said Carl Lis, chairman of the management plan steering group.

“The drafting groups have been working hard for two months to form objectives, drawing on the results of the summer’s public consultation and other evidence. We wanted as many local organisations as possible to hear first hand about some of the ideas – and to have their say – before the groups produce their final suggestions.

“The plan – as more and more people are beginning to realise – is not just for the National Park Authority.  It will equally shape the work of many other organisations, from the Dales Farmer Network to the Environment Agency. It is vital we get this right and come up with a five-year plan that addresses challenges such as community sustainability, wildlife crime, access to broadband and – of course – the viability of hill farming.”

After presentations from the drafting groups, the main part of the forum was given over to ‘break out sessions’.  Attendees were able to take part in discussions themed around the six ambitions for the national park.

Mr Lis said:  “Even at this stage in the process interesting ideas are being raised for possible inclusion in the plan.  For instance, there was a suggestion at the forum that a national park-wide organisation should be set up to help deliver community-led housing – which at the moment is seen to be one of the best ways to get affordable housing built in rural areas.”

Here’s an update on what happens next in the management plan process:

  • Dec-Feb 2018:   The drafting groups will complete their work, enabling the steering group to finalise and publish a full draft management plan.
  • Spring 2018:  A public consultation will be held on the draft plan, so that people can suggest any final revisions or additions.
  • June 2018:  The management plan will be adopted. From that point on, the plan will formally guide the national park-related work of the partner organisations on the steering group, and many other local bodies.

Six of the seven ‘drafting groups’ are well-established partnership groups: Dales Tourism Partnership; Farming and Land Management Forum; Biodiversity Forum; Local Access Forum; Historic Environment Forum; Woodland Forum.

Only one drafting group – called ‘community and economy’ – has been set up specifically to help create the management plan.  Each drafting group has between 10-20 members.

The 16 organisations on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan 2018-2023 are:

Craven District Council

Dales Farmer Network (Yorkshire)

Dales Farmer Network (Cumbria and Lancashire)

Dales Rural Estates (Yorkshire)

Dales Rural Estates (Cumbria and Lancashire)

Dales Tourism Businesses (Yorkshire)

Dales Tourism Businesses (Cumbria and Lancashire)

Eden District Council

Environment Agency

Forestry Commission

Lancaster City Council

Natural England

Richmondshire District Council

South Lakeland District Council

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

The current Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan has 54 objectives and can be seen here: http://www.yorkshiredalesmanagementplan.org.uk/

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