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We are overjoyed that the government has today announced that it will extend the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, to include land which should never have been excluded, much of it common land.
The environment secretary Liz Truss has confirmed the designations made by Natural England in 2012, following a public inquiry in 2013. The designations ensure protection for some of our most splendid landscapes, much of which is common. The land to be added to the Yorkshire Dales National Park includes parts of the Orton Fells, northern Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang, while the Lake District will incorporate such areas as Birkbeck Fells, Whinfell and part of the Lyth valley.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘This completes some unfinished business from the 1940s and will ensure the national park boundaries conform with the landscape. Until now they have been illogical on the ground, partly an anachronism of local authority boundaries. Why only protect half the magnificent Howgill Fells for instance, just because they are bisected by an administrative boundary? The Open Spaces Society fought alongside the Campaign for National Parks, Friends of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales Society and many others, and we are delighted at this outcome. At last these areas will get the protection and recognition they deserve.’