The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) yesterday welcomed the launch of the Government’s Diversity Action Plan, which aims to encourage a wider range of people to enjoy the natural environment.
The plan, announced by Defra Minister Jonathan Shaw, aims to show under-represented groups – like people with disabilities, people from ethnic minorities, people from the inner cities, and young people – what the countryside has to offer and to persuade them to visit and enjoy it.
Bill Wood, the YDNPA’s Outreach and Education Manager, said: “‘The YDNPA welcomes the Action Plan and the focus it will provide for ensuring that the benefits of our beautiful national park can be enjoyed by all.
“The YDNPA already has a well-established series of projects aimed at doing just this. We make information about the national park more accessible to a wide range of people, focusing on those living in the urban areas that surround the National Park.
“At the same time, we are developing ways of providing access to the National Park to users of all abilities – which includes increasing opportunities for those with limited mobility and for those with sensory disabilities. In addition, the Authority’s outreach programme of ‘Dales Experience’ visits works with around 250 participants annually, mainly from urban and black and minority ethnic backgrounds. “
“And around 620 people, almost all from urban BME groups, have been involved in fifteen cricket match exchange visits in one of our projects called ‘Beyond the Boundary’.”