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Impact on access, visitors and recreation

Every year millions of visitors enjoy the special qualities that the National Park has to offer. The impacts of climate change on this are likely to be demonstrated through the level of visitors coming to the area and the type of experience they have when they visit.

Potential climate change impacts include:

  • an increase in visitor numbers, especially in the summer, putting pressure on infrastructure whilst providing more opportunities for tourism businesses;
  • higher rainfall and more frequent flooding events leading to increased water logging and erosion of rights of way resulting in restrictions to access and some routes becoming unusable;
  • storm and flood events damaging infrastructure such as bridges, visitor attraction sites and buildings, resulting in unreliable opening times and restrictions to access;
  • road closures and uncertainty about access after storm events leading to a drop in visitor numbers;
  • increased incidences of flooding and storms affecting recreational activities such as caving and hill walking, and putting more pressure on rescue services.

The North Yorkshire Wildfire Group is starting to address the impacts of climate change on access and recreation.

Areas where there are gaps in current thinking include work with the tourism sector, and on dealing with access and damage to visitor infrastructure.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is, therefore, being proactive in engaging with tourism businesses about energy efficiency and the potential for renewable energy in the National Park. You can find out more by visiting our Green Tourism pages.


Get inspiration whether you want family-friendly ambles or long-distance challenge >

Go underground

Find out how to go caving - whether it is visiting a show cave or venturing further with an instructor.