Charities urge push towards green future for Yorkshire Dales

Swaledale. Photo: VisitBritain.

Two Yorkshire Dales charities are challenging those who lives and works in the national park or visits the area to go the extra mile to tackle the climate emergency.

They have set out a programme of action to help farmers, landowners, businesses, tourists, national and local government and statutory and voluntary organisations adapt to global warming and encourage nature recovery and sustainable development.

The blueprint has been drawn up by Friends of the Dales and North Craven Heritage Trust, which organised an online conference for local politicians, experts and members of the general public to discuss the issues in October.

“Our response to the coronavirus pandemic has shown just how quickly we can develop and adapt to new ways of working and living,” said FOTD chair Bruce McLeod.

“It was in stark contrast to decades of inaction on climate change.

“The conference brought together nearly 100 people who love and care for the national park. We heard about innovative responses to global warming that could be trialled in the Dales and discussed how we could work together to create a better ‘new normal’.

The result is a list of challenges that will help us to tackle issues that will have more far-reaching and long-term consequences than the coronavirus pandemic.”

The document calls for a concerted effort to reduce all forms of waste including single-use plastics and make the farming, forestry, tourism and transport industries more sustainable.

It also sets out a number of changes to lifestyle and working practices aimed at improving energy efficiency and making better use of natural resources; supporting local economies and creating rewarding and  secure employment opportunities; restoring and protecting landscapes and habitats; and preventing pollution and flood risk. The full list of challenges can be viewed online at

The A Green New Dales: Year One of the Climate Emergency conference brought together expert speakers on a number of themes including a net-zero carbon national park, new thinking on tree planting, management of freshwater resources and switching to a ‘circular economy’ to help businesses build resilience and increase profits.

All the presentations can be downloaded or viewed online at

The two charities are now working together to develop initiatives to help everyone who loves and cares for the national park to put the challenges into action.