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Yorkshire Dales National Park HQ opens for business

[Tuesday 25 July 2006]

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is officially in business in Bainbridge.

Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary and Richmond MP William Hague performed the opening ceremony at the Authority's new, purpose-built office complex.

ydnpa opening
Mr Hague with Carl Lis and David Butterworth at Yoredale

The former Tory party leader, who is now a senior member of the party's Shadow Cabinet, unveiled a stone slab at the entrance to the building and watched as youngsters from Bainbridge and Askrigg primary schools planted a commemorative tree in the grounds of the complex.

The new building, called Yoredale, replaces the Authority's old base in the village and was paid for by a 50 per cent grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2003, with the remainder coming from the sale of YDNPA offices and buildings vacated ahead of the move.

Mr Hague said: "I am very pleased that these offices are still here in Bainbridge not so far from the previous site.

"This is a small village but it typifies the beauty of the National Park. We live in some of the finest countryside in Britain - one could argue in the world."

Mr Hague praised the 'innovative' design of the complex, which is partly built into a grass bank and has a grass roof to try to reduce the impact of the building. The grass layer also acts as a natural insulation.

"The only other public building in the world I have seen like this is the Australian Parliament in Canberra," he added.

We live in some of the finest countryside in Britain - one could argue in the world

William Hague - Shadow Foreign Secretary and Richmond MP

Mr Hague and other guests, including the chairman of Richmondshire District Council Jill McMullon, were given a guided tour of the building before some set out into the countryside on a guided walk.

The opening coincides with the start of National Parks Week, which runs until 28 July.

The annual week is organised by the Association of National Park Authorities and aims to raise awareness of the reasons for the existence of National Parks and to celebrate their beauty, diversity and the opportunities they offer everyone to enjoy their special qualities.

Planned events in the Yorkshire Dales include the launch of a booklet called 'Ancient Trackways' which gives details of hikes along four of the historical routes in the Yorkshire Dales and was produced by the YDNPA and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

Other activities taking place across the Yorkshire Dales:

Sunday 23 July

  • Kettlewell Heritage Trail (two miles)
  • Dent Town Trail
  • Malham Heritage Trail (two miles)
  • Shaping the Dales Guided Walk (three miles around Aysgarth)

Monday 24 July

  • Wildlife of Snaizeholme Guided Walk (1.5 miles around Hawes)

Tuesday 25 July

  • Wildlife of Snaizeholme Guided Walk (1.5 miles around Hawes)

Wednesday 26 July

  • History of Old Gang Mines (3.5 miles around Reeth)
  • Lead mining on Grassington Moor (4 miles around Grassington)
  • Teddy Bears' picnic Grassington National Park Centre from noon to 2pm

Thursday 27 July

  • Teddy Bears' picnic Malham National Park Centre from noon to 2pm
  • Spend the day with a National Park Ranger. Meet at Reeth National Park Centre at 11am

Friday 28 July

  • Archaeology around Grassington Guided Walk
  • Chainsaw sculpture demonstration Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes, from 2pm to 4pm

Full details of all the events are available on the YDNPA website

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