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Visit the Dales


Dales Volunteer, Roger Gaynor

Why the Yorkshire Dales National Park is special to me.

I first visited the Dales in 1974 during a visit to Malham Cove as a keen hill walker. Without doubt it was love at first sight and even after all these years it remains a very magical place. The towering cliffs are home to peregrine falcons and fearless climbers. The cove is topped with a crazed limestone pavement, a secret habitat for a very specialised flora. Malham Beck is just as impressive after travelling underground for several kilometres through tunnels and caves it suddenly puts in a surprise appearance at the base of the Cove.

Since then I have continued to explore the Dales, including some exciting journeys discovering the high fells in full winter conditions, at which time it appears to be a timeless and rugged landscape. However, each spring and early summer the sight and sounds of birds such as skylark and curlew remind me this is a very fragile and sensitive place. In late summer and autumn the flowering heather moorland and leaping salmon returning to their birthplace start to bring another memorable year to a truly unforgettable close.

Therefore, this really is a precious and priceless inheritance. For this reason, I feel so lucky to be a Dales Volunteer. In particular, I see how the National Park Authority is working with other organisations and local communities to inspire future generations, together with people from a wide range of backgrounds to experience and care for the area’s special qualities.

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Three Peaks

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