The Yorkshire Dales National Parks have extended!
10 years of planning and consultation have finally come to fruition with the extension of the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park!
From 1st August 2016, the boundary will include new areas in Cumbria and a tiny area of Lancashire and will include some stunning scenery, distinctive Fells, historic sites and picturesque villages. An additional 161 square miles of beautiful upland landscape has been added to the existing National Park, which now totals 841 square miles, making it the third largest National Park in the UK.
The Market Town of Kirkby Stephen celebrated in typical style with a Westmoreland Dales Day. There were newly devised routes for walking, running and cycling which show cased the magnificence of the newly designated areas. The town was filled with stalls with representatives from the National Parks, river conservation, Woodland Trust and others as well as local crafts people showing their skills in the church.
The church was the hub for the day with some excellent and informed speakers, ably led by Alex Birtles, local solicitor and champion of the area, along with John Dunning of Westmoreland Limited and Michael Dower, whose father produced the Dower Report in 1945 which led to the formation of the National Parks throughout the UK and who has been greatly involved himself. All spoke passionately about the wonderful “forgotten landscapes” of the Mallerstang & Eden Valleys, the Lune valley and Howgill Fells and how exciting the opportunities are for the area. Michael Dower spoke of the National Parks not preserving the area in a kind of time warp, but of the importance of stewardship of the land and the well being of the people who live there. Heritage is vital but so is sustainability.
Kirkby Stephen is a fine market town, steeped in history, surrounded by glorious landscape and still vibrant with schools, shops, church, many social groups & a great community spirit. It has excellent transport links with a train station on the famous Settle Carlisle line, the M6 within a 15 minute drive and the A66 at Brough linking the East to West, giving easy access to the North East and Scotland. The Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales are within a half hour drive, as is Barnard Castle and Teesdale, as well as the extensive Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty above Brough. The surrounding villages are pretty, vibrant and accessible. You can walk for miles on the Fells and never see another soul, enjoying the peace & tranquillity, bird life and wild life.
Basically, the spotlight is on this fabulous area! Get up there and see for yourselves all that it has to offer.