THE YORKSHIRE Dales National Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year - and its golden jubilee will take the form of a year long programme of events to bring the park, local people and visitors closer together.
The park authority has begun planning what is calls "Reaching out - a national park for all" to "introduce a new range of people throughout the region to the magnificent countryside of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, especially individuals experiencing physical or mental impairment, people from ethnic minorities, the inner cities and young people."
The events and activities will also celebrate the sense of local pride amongst the communities of the Yorkshire Dales, and a "50 years' branding will be introduced for the year to assist in the marketing of the Yorkshire Dales to visitors and others with an interest in the national park throughout England and abroad."
Park chairman Steve Macaré, said today: "The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of the most outstanding areas of countryside in England; it's landscape and wildlife provides many people with a source of enjoyment as well as a respite from the pressures of everyday modern life - it is only right that fifty years on we celebrate its creation.
"However, recent statistics show that the Yorkshire Dales National Park is becoming less and less relevant to younger people, who just don't know what it has to offer them, not to mention an understanding of the need of its conservation in the future
"If new audiences are not made aware of the Yorkshire Dales there will a decline in public support for its care and, in the long-term, tourism and associated businesses may well be affected."