New book tells the story of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

A new book titled Guardian of the Dales has been published telling the story of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and how the national park itself has changed over its 68-year history.

The book features vintage photography, maps and news articles from the archives.

Its author Nigel Watson said: “This short history of the authority celebrates the people who have shaped it through the years, and I hope it pays a suitable tribute to the founders of the national park movement and the pioneers of the Authority and their successors here in the Dales.

“Looking back, and detailing its cumulative growth to maturity, the authority is now in a stronger position than it has ever been to ensure, in the national interest, the conservation of the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales in every aspect.

“I believe it is crucial that any future reforms must strengthen the authority further as it tackles the critical challenges posed by climate change and the threat to the nature which gives the Dales its unique character.”

Dame Fiona Reynolds, vice president of Campaign for National Parks and the countryside charity CPRE, said: “These are important stories to tell, lest we assume that making conservation happen in the second half of the twentieth century was easy.

“And now, when it should be easier, this story helps us remember and celebrate the people whose energy, commitment and sheer hard work made possible what we aspire to do today.”

Neil Heseltine, chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “This is an insightful and entertaining story – told by our staff, supporters, and indeed our critics – of how the national park came into being and how our tenacious passionate highly skilled officers, members and volunteers have, over 8 decades, worked with many farmers and land owners to conserve and enhance this iconic landscape.”

‘Guardian of the Dales’ is available to buy now from any National Park Visitor Centre and online here.