The Yorkshire Dales National Park extended

PUBLISHED: 09:11 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:11 02 August 2016

Raisbeck, Orton by Christine Robinson

Raisbeck, Orton by Christine Robinson

Archant

National Park increases in size by 24%

Did you think the Yorkshire Dales National Park was big? Well, you’d be right. It is. It’s 680 square miles.

Or, at least, it was. Because on August 1st – a significant day in Yorkshire’s history, it turns out – the Dales got a whole lot bigger. Thanks to a boundary extension announced last October, the area covered by the national park increased by 24 per cent to 841 square miles.

This means that, confusingly, the Yorkshire Dales National Park can now be found in a small part of Lancashire (which must go down well) and a larger part of Cumbria. Although, actually, the national park had already spread ‘out of county’.

‘Twelve per cent of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is already in Cumbria,’ explained David Butterworth, the national park authority’s chief executive. ‘Now that has increased to 27 per cent and for the first time one per cent of it is in Lancashire too. The current population is around 20,000 and this will rise to around 24,000.’

The new boundary for the park will include the Orton Fells, the northern Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang to the north and, to the west, Barbon, Middleton, Casterton and Leck Fell, the River Lune, and part of Firbank Fell and other fells to the west of the River Lune. ‘We are all very excited about the extension but also aware of the responsibilities it brings – responsibilities to these wonderful landscapes and to the local communities that do so much to make them special places,’ said Carl Lis, national park authority chairman. ‘We have already held drop-in sessions for members of the public and meetings with parish council representatives, landowners, farmers and local businesses to explain what we do and how we might be able to help each other.’

Not everyone is thrilled. When the boundary changes were announced, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) in the North said the views of many farmers and landowners in the region were being ignored. ‘Draconian planning rules and other regulations in national parks can stifle rural enterprise, ultimately at the expense of people who derive their living from the land, and this is very worrying,’ said CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn.

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