About Us

Friends of the Dales is the newer name of the Yorkshire Dales Society – a registered charity set up in 1981 to campaign for the protection and enhancement of the Dales and to encourage everyone to value and enjoy this special area. 

Friends of the Dales is a significant group of people who love and care about the Dales:

  • Some Friends of the Dales choose to support our charity by becoming a member – we have more than 1500 members! If you love the Dales, please join us as an individual or joint member, or as a business or group member. In return you’ll receive a fantastic magazine four times a year plus free entry to our annual events programme.
  • Hundreds of other Friends of the Dales support us by attending our events, supporting our campaigns or Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages – instead of joining with an annual fee some chose to make a donation or leave a legacy to help our charitable work.
  • Around 25 of our Friends are regular volunteers – local people who give up their time to lead guided walks; lobby government and organisations to keep protecting the Dales; look after the membership and finances of the charity or take up the greater responsibility of becoming a Trustee. Together these volunteers contribute over 3,000 hours per year!
  • Three part-time members of staff – Ann Shadrake, Executive Director; Victoria Benn, Membership and Events Officer and Penny Lowe, Administration Assistant come together to co-ordinate the Society’s many activities and support our volunteers and Trustees from our office in Gargrave.

What does the Friends of the Dales stand for?

We are the only membership and campaigning charity for the Dales – we want to see this special area remain protected, valued, enjoyed and loved – always. We are, in essence, the friends of the Dales.

How can I support the Friends of the Dales?

Please consider joining us as a member – more members gives us more clout when we stand up and campaign for the Dales. Organisations and government take more notice if we have a large membership behind us!

What benefits do I get as a Member?

Members get:

  • A copy of our quarterly publication The Yorkshire Dales Review delivered through the post
  • Free access to our events

How much does it cost to become a Friend?

One person can join Friends of the Dales for £25. Or, two people at the same address can join for just £35. We have special offers from time to time, including honouring earlier rates on printed leaflets if you wish, so just ask when you contact us.

If you feel able to pay a larger amount up front, you can join as a life member – see the panel for these rates. We also have Business or Group Friends – just £40 per year and great publicity for your commitment.

How do I become a Friend?

Become a friend online or ring our office on 01756 749400 – we can give you full details and advise you over the phone if you wish. Alternatively, email us.

I’m not sure membership is right for me

You will always be welcome at our events whether you sign up to membership or not. Could you consider a donation, large or small, to our charitable work?  Even £5 or £10 can help our work to protect the Dales. Ask us about the easy ways to make a donation or make a donation online.  We rely entirely on voluntary subscriptions, donations and legacies for our charity’s running costs.