A partnership of public bodies, farmers, land managers and tourism businesses is urging people to help shape a ‘to-do list’ for the Yorkshire Dales National Park for the remainder of this decade.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan Partnership is updating its management plan – to cover the period 2025 to 2029 – and is asking: ‘What needs doing most in the National Park in the next five years?’
People are invited to consider 18 areas of work, ranging from reducing pollution in rivers to increasing the supply of affordable homes, and rank what would be their top six priorities. The public consultation is in the form of a survey, which takes only a few minutes to complete and is available online until Monday the 26th of February.
The partnership includes representatives from North Yorkshire and Westmorland and Furness Councils, private sector interests from North Yorkshire and Cumbria, as well as statutory environmental agencies
Deputy Chair of the partnership, Neil Heseltine, said: “The National Park Management Plan sets out the specific things we will work together to achieve; it is in effect a five-year ‘to do list’ for the various organisations that operate in the National Park. If an area of work is not in the management plan, it won’t get done. That’s why I would warmly invite anyone who has an interest in the future of the National Park to take part in this survey.”
The partnership is making particular efforts to reach people of all ages and backgrounds by producing a short video for social media, which asks people what they most care about in the National Park.
Mr Heseltine, who is also Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, added: “We are facing a climate and nature crisis. At the same time, some of our farmers and businesses are struggling to make ends meet. All of the 18 areas of work listed in the survey are self-evidently important but we would like to get the public’s view on which ones are the most important – and whether we’ve missed anything.”
Councillor Yvonne Peacock, who represents North Yorkshire Council on the partnership, said: “The management plan has a big impact on what happens in the National Park. It influences the actions of many different organisations. So, it’s really important that people take part in the survey.”
Crispin Thorn, Area Director for the Forestry Commission, said: “The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a really special place, but we know that the climate is changing rapidly and nature is in decline – even here. It’s important to protect the National Park, and this consultation encourages the public to have their say on a range of priorities and issues it faces.”
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan Partnership is currently overseeing the final year of its 2019-2024 plan. It reports regularly on progress on the 49 objectives in the plan.