Extending the National Park Boundaries

September 29, 2011

Good news all round I suspect. Natural England have announced an extension of the boundaries for the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks to include many areas of great national beauty which always appear below the radar of visitors to the area. There may be some home owners who do not like the thought of planning restrictions being imposed on their homes but the protection for land owners, the advice and the higher publicity and generated income in to the area that will come with being included in the boundaries will be a major boost for the area. I just hope they receive the resources to maintain them in these days of austerity.

So what are the boundary changes? Just click here to view them on a map but they fall in to just 3 main areas in my opinion, 2 extra chunks for the Dales and one for the Lakes.

1. The largest extension is to the north west of the Yorkshire Dales and includes the areas of Mallerstang (a personal favourite) and the superbly named Wild Boar Fell, a northern sweep of the lovely Howgills and the beautiful limestone pavements of Great Ashby, very familiar land to anyone who has covered this section of the Coast to Coast. I have already completed and written up a number of lovely walks in the area:

The Ancient Castles of Mallerstang

Wild Boar Fell Climb

Northern Howgills

2. A large chunk of land to the north and east of Kirkby Lonsdale linking it through the lovely Barbondale valley to Dent and the great moors near Great Coum. Barbondale and Great Coum are already featured on two of my walks:

Lovely Barbondale

Great Coum via Gregarth

3. I am particularly pleased to see the Lake District National Park take control of the area to the north of Kendal near Whinfell and the other Borrowdale valley, a walk I completed only recently but is a haven for those wanting great walking in friendly terrain. Please find the description of the walk here.

There is also a small addition to the area around Sizergh Castle but I do not know it so I cannot really comment!

Certainly all these are areas I believe should have added protection but not only to retain their natural beauty but also to encourage more people to visit. For those who are living there some will disagree but I cannot help but feel there is an element of nimbyism about this – fine for us to enjoy but not you lot! However it appears the majority of local residents were in favour and could see the benefits that extra visitors will bring and protection will offer. Some may even be licking their lips on the commercial opportunities!

As I was scanning the map Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty reared its head. Now this is a beautiful place but empty – I just do not get why some areas receive only AONB protection but others get the added advantage of National Park protection. For those who do not know, the National Park offers the same natural protection of an area of outstanding natural beauty but is in addition promoted as a place to visit and a recreational area – something which Arnside and Silverdale and even more bizarrely Nidderdale to the east of the Dales receive. Why do we try and complicate things so much!


Yesterday I completed my 100th Lake District walk – a beautiful lowish walk in to the Upper Esk in the south western Lakes. A more perfect spot there is not on a hot day with stunning scenery and an energetic river. There were even a couple swimming in one of the deep pools (although they were not in for long). I have now completed in my opinion the best 100 walks in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District – now I will be looking at ways of encouraging more people to try and enjoy them.

Previous Posts:

Using a map to navigate. Why using a map and compass adds so much to a good walk.

Walks for the family. How to educate your children to enjoy the great outdoors.

Away from the Crowds. Some tips and suggestions on where to still find peace and solitude when many walks are crowded out.

My favourite villages in the Dales. The villages in the Yorkshire Dales which are extra special.

Delighting in photos. Why it is so easy to enjoy photography these days.

More than just a walking heaven. Different reasons why people take to the fells and dales.

Watch out for the little blighters. Sheep ticks continue to be a growing menace.

Map Reading Skills on the decline. Impact of new technology on traditional navigation.

Hidden Yorkshire Dales. The joys of walking in my favourite lesser known dales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *