Yorkshire Dales park authority bosses set to agree £13.1m work programme

Thwaite hay barn.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority will meet next week to agree a £13.1m work programme for 2024/25.

Park bosses say the total represents a significant increase in expenditure after the authority received additional funding.

While the authority’s core government grant remains flat for an 8th year, officials say Defra have provided additional capital funding of £500k.

On top of significant external income secured by the national park authority through a variety of externally backed projects, this means the Authority can:

  • Provide £2m of grants to the National Park’s farmers and landowners through the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.
  • Continue the Tees-Swale project, restoring peatland, hay meadows, woodland and other priority habitats across Swaledale and Arkengarthdale.
  • Provide new, Education and Outreach projects: Championing National Parks for everyone, and the National Citizen Service project.
  • Facilitate an extensive volunteers programme, young ranger, ‘Upskill Down Dale’ youth engagement programme, and apprenticeships, developing skills that lead to employment in the environmental sector.
  • Implement the Coast to Coast National Trail through the National Park, and a variety of other ambitions.

Derek Twine, deputy chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and chair of the finance and resources committee, said: “The ambition in this year’s work programme is clear to see.

“Thanks to important income streams and the additional government capital funding, we have been able to commit to supporting farmers and landowners in accessing critical new grant funding, provide opportunities for underrepresented groups to experience the joy of visiting a National Park, and much more.

“However, the very real pressure on our core government grant funding remains and the outlook beyond 2024/25 looks much less positive. The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme and Grow Back Greener project are both scheduled to end in March 2025 and continuing uncertainty over the country’s public finances in general means it’s difficult to anticipate how our core grant, currently only £5.2m, will be impacted beyond next year.

“As a result, all of the authority’s plans and ambitions for the future face a degree of uncertainty”.