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Country News - 2004

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Boost for national park communications

Monday 28 June 2004

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has become more effective at communicating and consulting with local residents, according to the results of a new survey.

This marks a major success for reforms carried out in the 1990s, when park officials were under criticism for being too remote from local people– and paying too little attention to their needs.

The authority then introduced several innovations to get their message over better, including the appointment of area wardens tasked with liasing closely with residents and reporting back their views.

Now, findings stemming from recent research in which 500 people were questioned show that locals are much better informed about the park’s work. The figures show:

  • 65% of residents surveyed agreed the National Park Authority lets people know what is going on, compared to 56% in 1999.
  • 44% agreed the national park authority asks for opinions about its actions, up from 36% in 1999.
  • Awareness of the authority and its work has risen significantly, with 95% of those quizzed saying they have heard of the authority, compared to 78% in 1999 a rise of 17%.
  • An increasing number of residents are engaging with the park. In 1999 only 32% claimed to have contact with park offocials but this figure has increased to a healthy 59%.

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