Following last year's consultation on proposals to extend the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, Natural England, the Government's independent adviser on the natural environment, has released revised boundary details for further public consideration.
Extension proposals for the Yorkshire Dales National Park now include the Orton Fells (notable for their superb limestone pavements), the Northern Howgill Fells (brilliant hillwalking), Mallerstang (including the very impressive Wild Boar Fell), and the fells and River Lune between Firbank Fell and Ireby. Proposals for the Lake District National Park are Birbeck Fells Common to Whinfell Common in the east (including the gorgeous Borrowdale), and Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell including the Lyth Valley to the south.
The previous consultation ran from December 2009 to May 2010 when local authorities, parish councils, interested groups and members of the public were asked for their views on the suitability of areas for consideration as National Park. As a result of this first stage of consultation, Natural England's proposals were refined to include seven small additional areas of land, with one deletion. The main areas and the proposed revisions are highlighted on this map:
David Vose, Natural England's project manager said 'We were very pleased with the 1365 responses we received to last year's consultation. We considered all the comments and made some amendments to our proposals to protect, as National Park, some of Northern England's finest landscapes. We would now like to hear from anyone who has a view about further revisions to the proposed boundaries.'
The consultation ends on July 1. Anyone wishing to respond can do so via the project website. Natural England will then consider all responses and draw up recommendations. Natural England's Board expects to consider the final proposals in September 2011 and the decision about any extension to either National Park will then be submitted to Defra for confirmation.
From May, Natural England will run drop-in sessions in villages within or near the proposed extension areas. Visitors to these sessions will be able to view the maps, supporting documents and discuss the proposals with Natural England staff.
Drop in dates have been confirmed at the following locations:
- 9 May 2011 - Levens Institute, 10.00am to 9.00pm
- 16 May 2011 - Grayrigg Village Hall, 10.00am to 9.00pm
- 19 May 2011 - Killington Village Hall, 10.00am to 9.00pm
- 23 May 2011 - Crosby Ravensworth Village hall, 10.00am to 9.00pm
- 27 May 2011 - Barbon Village Hall, 10.00am to 9.00pm
- 1 June 2011 - Quaker Meeting House, Kendal, 10.00am to 19.30pm
- 11 June 2011 - Orton Farmers Market, Orton Market Hall stall 9.30am to 2.30pm
- 12 May 2011 - Kirkby Lonsdale Library Drop-in Session, 9.30 to 12.30 and 13.30 to 17.00
- 13 June 2011 - Kirkby Stephen Masonic Hall Drop-in session, 10.00am to 8.00 pm
Further sessions will be held in Newbiggin-on-Lune, Great Asby and Tebay.