Yorkshire Dales expands into Cumbria and Lancashire in 'land grab'

Expansion puts nearly 200 square miles under national park protection

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 02 August 2016 11:32
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A view across Wensleydale, the home of Wensleydale Cheese in Hawes nestling in the Yorkshire Dales
A view across Wensleydale, the home of Wensleydale Cheese in Hawes nestling in the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales national park has been expanded by 24 per cent, taking land from both Cumbria and Lancashire.

Reforms unveiled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) mean the park will now include Leck Fell, near Kirkby Lonsdale - which was Lancashire's highest point.

The expansion, which puts nearly 200 square miles under national park protection, was announced on Monday 1 August, which is also celebrated as Yorkshire Day.

Under the plans the Lake District has also increased in size by three per cent, virtually joining up the Parks in a move aimed at boosting rural tourism and supporting local businesses.

Over 20 million people visit the Dales and Lakes each year and it is hoped the expansion will attract more tourists to the region, adding to over £1.8 billion a year already generated by visitors.

Malham Cove, in Yorkshire Dales National Park

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "Today’s extension will virtually join up these precious natural assets, supporting the local economy, creating jobs and securing the area’s reputation as one of our country’s most attractive tourist destinations for generations to come."

Andrew Sells, chairman of Natural England, responsible for designating national park boundaries, said: “This is a momentous day for the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.

“The additional areas which now form part of each national park are very special places that deserve all the care and attention designation will bring.”

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