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Living & Working


Visit the Dales



The area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park straddles the Pennines, the backbone of England. Geology and natural processes have been the fundamental force behind the creation of this familiar landscape and of the variety found within it. They are the bedrock of the Yorkshire Dales and have expression in numerous dramatic and impressive features.

Around 95% of the National Park is in private ownership. The predominant land uses are moorland, heathland and unenclosed grassland, much of which is managed as grouse moor, and farmland.

The farmland is enclosed by around 8,600 km of dry-stone walls and about 1,000 km of hedgerows. It has been estimated that there are some 4,250 'field barns' (located outside the farmstead) within the National Park and these are a distinctive element of the landscape in the Yorkshire Dales.

Vision for 2040

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan contains ten objectives that we intend to achieve over the next five to ten years to make progress towards our vision that by 2040 the Yorkshire Dales National Park will be:

A distinctive, living, working cultural landscape that tells the on-going story of generations of people interacting with their environment

Management Plan objectives

A1 Support farmers and landowners to deliver a wide range of environmental benefits by maintaining at least 80% of the National Park in basic 'Environmental Stewardship' agreements and increasing the area covered by enhanced management agreements to at least 55% by 2017.

A2 Help people to conserve, enhance and bring back into use the most important historic sites, buildings and structures in the National Park so that no more than 70 listed buildings, 15 scheduled monuments, and no conservation areas are 'at risk' by 2020.

A3 By 2015, provide clear guidance on which traditional farm buildings should be a focus for public investment, and those that can best be adapted for re-use or allowed to decline.

A4 Secure the contribution that traditional field barns and drystone walls make to the National Park, including establishing a local partnership to identify and implement positive measures to enhance the Swaledale-Arkengarthdale Barns and Walls Conservation Area so that by 2016 it is no longer considered 'at risk'.

A5 Maintain the National Park as a place where a true sense of tranquillity, remoteness and solitude can be found, and, over the period of this Management Plan, implement a range of measures to enhance and promote enjoyment of its dark skies.

A6 Establish a professional network to encourage innovative, high-quality and more sustainable building design that complements the distinctive character of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and publish new design guidelines by 2016.

A7 Support local communities to establish the extent of potential threats to the historic environment from heritage crime (such as theft and vandalism) and promote measures to help reduce it.

A8 Use the Historic Environment Record to research, record and promote the stories of the National Park area, and carry out and co-ordinate regular surveys of important historic structures and landscapes.

A9 Reduce the impact on the landscape of overhead lines and associated equipment, including putting at least another 10km of existing power lines underground by 2018.

A10 Support projects that enhance and promote the National Park's distinctive landscape, geology and cultural heritage, including delivery of large-scale projects such as the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership to enhance the wider landscape of Ribblesdale and Chapel-le-Dale by 2019.

See what's been achieved

Rivers and waterfalls

Discover more about the many stunning waterfalls and the rivers of the Dales

Out of Oblivion

Find out more about the unique cultural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales created through the interactions of people and nature over thousands of years

The Three Peaks

Find out everything you need to know about walking the iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks.

Help for farmers

From grants to stewardships, we can help

How you can help

Find out about ways to get involved and give something back