The Yorkshire Dales – Update 2010:01

by David Murray on 14 January 2010

in National Parks, Northern England, Railways, Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales NP

Janet's Foss, near MalhamJanet’s Foss, near Malham – Image via Wikipedia

With the beginning of 2010 not only am I expanding the blog to cover a wider area of the North of England (see my post about the changes at Around-England 2010) but I’m also starting a series of news updates about different areas of the region which I hope will interest people. My aim will be to bring to the surface items that might otherwise be missed, as well as giving easy access to different angles on already well-known news. So here goes with No. 1 of the Yorkshire Dales series.

The BBC early evening series on Great British Railway Journeys, fronted by Michael Portillo, has visited several of the areas covered by this blog – including the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. If you’ve not seen the programmes you can catch the series on BBC iPlayer.  (This link takes you to last night’s programme; the others are easily found from there).

I had of course remembered Portillo’s earlier political career and his time as Minister for Defence, but had forgotten that he was previously Minister of Transport.  It was fascinating to hear him say that among all the many things he was involved with over those years in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet he considered the saving of the Settle to Carlisle railway line, and especially the great Ribblehead viaduct, to have been one of his major achievements. Here’s another blogger’s take on the programme as it visited Dent.

The Barrister Blog: Blacksmith in Dent in the Yorkshire Dales
One of the people who is featured is Lucy Sandys-Clarke who is a blacksmith in Dent which is at the top of the Yorkshire Dales and just down the road from Sedbergh and the Howgill Fells. It’s fantastic to see traditional crafts …
Publish Date: 01/12/2010 20:13

Ribblehead Viaduct, Settle-Carlisle Railway – Photo by: Andrew Barker –

A second item for today comes from the editor of the Dalesman who earlier this week blogged about the consultation currently being carried out by Natural England into possible extensions to both the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.  Like me, he appears to be somewhat sceptical as to the merits of the scheme.  I’m not opposed to protection of the countryside, of course not, but am not at all certain of the benefits from layers of bureaucratic planning control.  In fact, I suspect that if they’d had planning authorities in the Middle Ages most of the beautiful natural and built environment which we now fondly protect would never have come into existence.

Proposed extension to National Park
A public consultation is currently under way on four proposed extensions to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. Residents, businesses and landowners are all being asked to let their views known to Natural England on …
Publish Date: 01/11/2010 7:58

Having said that, I’ll once again show myself up to be inconsistent.  We certainly need planning authorities to slow the steady march of windfarms across some of the most beautiful areas of our countryside.

Yorkshire Dales News: Dales windfarm enquiry opens
One of the most important planning enquiries held in the Yorkshire Dales for many years opens next Tuesday (January 12) to decide whether some of the finest landscape in the north of England will be dominated by five huge wind turbines …
Publish Date: 01/06/2010 18:00

OK, that’s enough for this week.  I’ll try to get another one out about the same time each week.

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