REPRESENTATIVES from more than 30 organisations met in Ingleton recently to discuss the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan for the next five years from 2018.

Individuals from farming, business and recreational groups, as well as charities and public bodies – including a strong showing from parish councils – gathered in the town’s Community Centre for the first ‘Annual Forum’ on the plan.

They heard presentations from the seven ‘local groups’ that are currently writing objectives for the new plan, and were able to share any concerns and make suggestions.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan is produced by a partnership of 16

public, private and voluntary sector organisations

 “We are really getting into the detail of the new plan now,” said Carl Lis, chairman of the management plan steering group.

“The drafting groups have been working hard for two months to form objectives, drawing on the results of the summer’s public consultation and other evidence. We wanted as many local organisations as possible to hear first hand about some of the ideas – and to have their say – before the groups produce their final suggestions.

“The plan – as more and more people are beginning to realise – is not just for the National Park Authority.  It will equally shape the work of many other organisations, from the Dales Farmer Network to the Environment Agency. It is vital we get this right and come up with a five-year plan that addresses challenges such as community sustainability, wildlife crime, access to broadband and – of course – the viability of hill farming.”

After presentations from the drafting groups, the main part of the forum was given over to ‘break out sessions’.  Attendees were able to take part in discussions themed around the six ambitions for the national park.

Mr Lis said:  “Even at this stage in the process interesting ideas are being raised for possible inclusion in the plan.  For instance, there was a suggestion at the forum that a national park-wide organisation should be set up to help deliver community-led housing – which at the moment is seen to be one of the best ways to get affordable housing built in rural areas.”The current Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan can be seen here