2013-06-11  facebook twitter rss

National Park Plan Launched

Farmers, school pupils, councillors and conservation groups met up in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park at the weekend to see the launch of a new plan to look after the fragile landscape and support the communities within it.

Nethergill Farm, which is located at the centre of the National Park at Oughtershaw in Langstrothdale, played host to the launch of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan, which details what needs to be done in the next five years to keep the area special, while helping it to thrive.

Nethergill Farm

Nethergill Farm

The plan has been produced by a partnership of 15 organisations, which include district and county councils, the Environment Agency, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and Natural England, as well as representatives of local farmers, landowners and tourism businesses.

It follows extensive consultation with visitors and people who live and work in the stunning landscape to find out what they wanted to see happen in years to come.

Carl Lis, the chair of the Management Plan steering group and YDNPA chairman, said: “The people who live and work in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are immensely proud of it, and many of those who visit feel closely connected to this remarkable place.

“The Management Plan sets out our ambitions for how the National Park will be looked after over the next five to 10 years. It will guide and focus the work that we will do to secure a prosperous future for the National Park and its communities.

“These are challenging times but our long-term ambitions remain undimmed. However, this is not the time for grandiose proposals. This Management Plan is focused on the things that we can do, and which we believe can make a real difference.

“It is for the National Park but it is, unashamedly, about people. It reflects the views and aspirations of the people who live and work here, as well as those who visit. But, more than that, it reflects the fact that people are at the heart of looking after this special place – the people who farm, manage and own the land; the people who live in and own the buildings; the people who own and work in the businesses; the people who give up their time to volunteer; the people who visit and love this National Park.

“We would like to thank all those individuals and organisations that have contributed their time, energy and passion to the development of this Management Plan.

“Its success will be dependent on everyone who cares about the National Park helping to secure and enhance its future to ensure it is a place to be proud of for generations to come.”

Chris Clark, who with his wife Fiona runs Nethergill Farm, its bed and breakfast accommodation and its visitors’ centre, said: “What we are about is linking food, farming and the environment, which is what the Management Plan does.

“The Yorkshire Dales landscape is one of the biggest business assets we have – without it we can’t do what we do. The Management Plan is looking after that asset so it’s hugely important to us.”

Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust project officer Dan Turner with Upper Wharfedale School pupils.

Guests at the launch were able to learn more about environmental projects being run on the farm, including woodland planting and riverbank management, and pupils from Upper Wharfedale School in Threshfield had the chance to find out what was swimming about in the Oughtershaw Beck.

Its launch marks the start of a new ‘Love Your National Parks’ celebration which aims to increase people’s understanding of what the National Parks have to offer, and to give a boost to their economic value. The initiative is led by National Parks England with support from Defra and a range of partners.

Minister for the Environment Richard Benyon said: “Our national parks are some of the most treasured places across the country with ninety million visitors every year. National parks play a key role in rural economic growth, as they are home to thousands of businesses and provide benefits to local communities. I fully support this great campaign and hope it encourages people to visit, enjoy and love our national parks.”

Yorkshire dales

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