We are a membership charity – if you join us as a Friend of the Dales we will send you our fantastic quarterly magazine, The Yorkshire Dales Review has brilliant articles on Dales cultural and natural history, and topical stories on our campaigning work and events. We also spread the word through Facebook page.
We run an annual programme of events – walks, talks, and special “behind the scenes” visits to Dales villages/towns. Friends of the Dales members attend free – and our walks are free to everyone (we make a small charge for indoor events – refundable if you become a Friend on the day!).
We have subsidiary charitable company – the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company or D&B CIC for short! This is a social enterprise run by volunteers which organises and fundraises for the Dalesbus services in the Dales.
Our campaigning work is organised through our volunteer Policy Committee made up of Trustees and other experts. We campaign on a wide range of environmental and social issues that affect the andscape of the Dales and the well-being of local communities, from transport and housing policy to renewable energy and wind farms.
Campaigning for the Dales
As an independent educational charity, free of financial and political affiliations, our charity works to ensure that the government, the National Park Authority, and other agencies deliver their promises to care for the Yorkshire Dales.
Our charity works to address the following key issues in the Dales:
Transport, the means we choose to travel to, from or within the Dales, has a major impact on the natural and the man-made environment. Use of motorised vehicles has a range of adverse effects including visual blight and urbanisation caused by parked or moving vehicles, traffic noise, air pollution, risk of accident and injury to humans and wildlife, and congestion.
In 2002, the average cost of a house in the Dales was £178,000 which was double the national average at the time. As prices continue to rise in the Dales young people are increasingly being driven out of the area in order to find their own place to live when they leave the family home. The Yorkshire Dales Society actively campaigns for positive measures to address the desperate lack of affordable housing.
Campaign For National Parks
Friends of the Dales is an active member of the Campaign for National Parks which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2016.
The issue of development control in the Dales is often a thorny one and Friends of the Dales helps by providing an independent watchdog role. The National Park Authority is the statutory planning authority for the National Park, which means that by law, they are responsible for dealing with all planning applications and related matters. We take a brief interest in all applications (over 600 per year) and then prepare a comment (supportive or pointing out areas of concern) to around 15-20 per year. See Planning
Access & Accessibilty
Large areas of the Yorkshire Dales National Park are now accessible to the public as a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 giving people the right to walk freely on designated ‘access’ land without having to stay on footpaths. Friends of the Dales work to raise awareness of Open Access and the responsibility that comes with it for both users and land manager but also seeks to encourage and support individuals and groups to ensure they receive the many benefits that access to the open countryside of the Dales can bring.
‘Green lanes’ are the characteristic unsurfaced, walled lanes, or tracks, over open moorland, which in some cases date back to medieval, Roman, pre-Roman or even prehistoric times. Many were monastic in origin, when great abbeys such as Fountains Abbey or Bolton Priory developed the system of outlying granges from the parent monastery. They are unsurfaced lanes and tracks, which create characteristic landscape features and run through, between and across higher Dales, sometimes parallel to modern roads which replaced them after various Turnpike Acts.
Every visitor to the Yorkshire Dales is also a tourist, but visitors who stay overnight contribute more the local economy by spending money on overnight accommodation, food, refreshment and ancillaries. All tourism has an impact on the environment and on local communities. The impact is based on the kind of activity and the scale of that activity.