On 1 August 2016, the National Park officially grew by nearly a quarter, with an extra 161 square miles (417 square kilometres) of stunning upland landscape treasured through national designation for everyone to enjoy. The boundary covers new areas in Cumbria and, for the first time, a small part of Lancashire, too. To the north, it includes the stark limestone-terraced plateau of Great Asby Scar, the velvet rounded contours of the northern Howgill Fells, distinctive Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang, and the settlements that surround them. To the west, the wild and exposed fells of Casterton, Middleton, Barbon and Leck, the tranquil valley sculpted by the River Lune and bustling Devil’s Bridge. There are picturesque villages such as Orton to discover, with its artisan chocolatiers, and hidden gems such as the old railway line that spanned the Lune Valley – as well as standing stones, burial cairns and amazing erratics. The extension brings us to within touching distance of the Lake District National Park – which has also grown by around 3% – and means that that the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park now covers 841 square miles (2,179 square kilometres) in total. It’s thrilling that these fantastic areas have at last been recognised as worthy of national park status, based entirely on the quality of the landscape and rich recreational opportunities they offer. The addition of a further 188 square miles does present challenges. However, extending the boundaries of these beautiful and internationally iconic areas should provide a boost to rural tourism in the area, supporting rural businesses and potentially adding millions more to the £4 billion already generated by visitors to the National Parks each year. We will be listening to and learning from the local communities, farmers, landowners and businesses to enable us to develop productive, long-term relationships Working together, the National Park Authority is determined to play a leading part in making the most of the wonderful opportunities this decision offers for both the landscape and local economy.