National Park Authority wins another national award
Grassington, 16 March, 2012.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has notched up yet another award for its work – this time in combating climate change.
It has won the Low Carbon Council of the Year category in the annual Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards, achieving ‘best in the country’ status and beating six other city and county councils also shortlisted for the prize.
Richard Burnett, the Authority’s Director of Corporate Services said: “This is a fantastic recognition of the efforts that everyone in the organisation has made to help reduce our own impact on climate change, and the support we have given to local businesses and communities.
“The Low Carbon Council award specifically recognises local authorities that have worked towards reducing their own carbon footprint, while also working with local businesses and citizens to help them to do the same.”
The Authority had to stage a presentation to a judging panel in January and the winners were announced at the LGC Awards on in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Wednesday (March 14).
Carl Lis, the Authority’s Chairman, said: “The award continues our national run of success and it’s fantastic for a small organisation like ours to be recognised nationally – especially when we were competing against some very large local authorities.
”We believe climate change will have the biggest single impact on the special qualities of the Park in coming years so this award is the latest example of our commitment to making a difference in terms of carbon reduction.
“But it doesn’t just recognise our work on our own operations. It covers all the projects that we are involved in – working with other organisations like the Yorkshire Peat Partnership, to help farmers and land managers to manage their land in ways that reduce carbon emissions and encouraging the uptake of renewable energy, especially hydro-power.”
The YDNPA’s original objective was to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% compared to 2005/06 by March 2013.
It has introduced a whole raft of measures ranging from using low energy light bulbs and reducing staff mileage to supporting small-scale renewable energy developments and co-funding the planting of 80 hectares of new native woodland in the National Park.
And so far, carbon emissions from buildings and vehicles owned by the Authority have been cut by nearly half over the last five years.
At the same time, it has cut its fuel bills by nearly £60,000 a year in the same period.
Latest figures show that in 2005/06 the Authority’s carbon emissions were 701 tonnes of CO2 and in 2010/11 they stood at 385 tonnes – a massive reduction of 45 per cent.
Last year the YDNPA picked up several awards.
Far Moor bridge, which crosses the River Ribble near Selside, won a ‘Judges’ Special Award’ in the British Construction Industry (BCI) 2011 awards –despite failing to win the category in which it was shortlisted. It was also highly commended in the “structural” category of the Wood Awards, which aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation in wood and are sponsored by most of the UK’s leading organisations involved in wood marketing and education.
The bridge, which is believed to be the longest of its kind in the world, was a joint project by the YDNPA and Natural England.
And 10 public toilets owned or managed by the Authority took some of the top positions in the 2011 national annual Loo of the Year Awards, which attracted more than1,300 entries.
One of them – the loo at the Aysgarth National Park Centre – was given a top, five-star rating and the other nine were put in the four-star category.