Questionnaire results help shape National Park’s future
Wide-ranging views on the big issues for the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being used to help create a new strategy for its future.
Visitors and people who live and work in the stunning landscape were asked by a partnership of local organisations to say what they loved about it, what annoyed them and what they wanted to see happen in years to come.
There was a huge response to the ‘Your Yorkshire Dales National Park’ questionnaire and the comments are being used to help shape a new, five-year National Park Management Plan that will set out how it should be looked after in the future
The plan is being produced by a partnership of 15 organisations, which include district and county councils, the Environment Agency, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Natural England, as well as groups like the Dales Farmer Network.
Carl Lis, the chair of the partnership, said: “I was struck by the fact that hundreds of people went to the trouble to write their views in detail – we have gained new insights into many of the issues that provoke people’s passions.
“Overall, it was an appreciation of the landscape and beauty of the National Park – along with many pleas for it to be looked after in the future – that people thought was most important.
“People loved the variety of the landscape and its distinctiveness and the huge opportunities for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities, as well as the peace and tranquillity that can also be enjoyed.
“Comments covered everything from the design of new buildings and affordable housing for local people to the provision of public transport and the maintenance of footpaths.”
Ann Brooks, the YDNPA’s Member Champion for Sustainable Development, said: “The National Park was designated in 1954 because of its spectacular landscape – meaning that the area has the highest status for the conservation of landscape and scenic beauty.
“Unlike ‘wilderness parks’ in some other countries, it’s the way that people and nature have interacted that has shaped how the National Park looks today with its incredible natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. We want to put this interaction at the centre of the new Plan – so the thoughts and opinions of the public are crucially important.”
Feedback from the consultation is being taken into account, along with a series of reports setting out key issues for the National Park – available at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/yournmpm – by the groups that are drafting initial ideas for the new National Park Management Plan.
A draft of it will be available for public comment in the autumn.
Results of the ‘Your Yorkshire Dales National Park’ consultation are available on the YDNPA website at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/telluswhatyouthink.