Following the establishment of the National Park in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority became an independent body, within the framework of local government, in 1997. We provide some services similar to those provided elsewhere by district and county councils. For example, we are the local planning authority. Most of the things we do, however, are particular to national park authorities. We have 25 Members – in many ways like a company’s board of directors. We employ approximately 150 full and part-time staff. We are also very fortunate to benefit from the work of around 250 Dales Volunteers. Our purposes Our role is clearly defined in Parliament by our two statutory purposes. These are: to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parkto promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public. In pursuing these purposes, we are also required: to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Park. To sum up, we are here to conserve and enhance the National Park and to help others to share in and enjoy it. The Vision Through their passion for this special place, local people, businesses and organisations will keep the Yorkshire Dales National Park a thriving area. Its unique cultural landscape will be treasured for its stunning scenery, exceptional heritage and wonderful wildlife, and every year millions of people will be inspired to be a part of it. By 2040, it will be: A distinctive, living, working, cultural landscape that tells the ongoing story of generations of people interacting with their environment. A friendly, open and welcoming place with outstanding opportunities to enjoy its special qualities. Home to the finest variety of wildlife in England. Resilient and responsive to the impacts of climate change, storing more carbon each year than it produces. Providing an outstanding range of benefits for the nation based on its natural resources, landscape and cultural heritage, which underpin a flourishing local economy. Home to strong, self-reliant and balanced communities with good access to the services they need. For more information on the Vision for the National Park go to the National Park Management Plan pages of our website.