Ancient identity has been boosted

Date: Tuesday 1st August 2017

Sir, I disagree with your correspondent Geoff Wilson (Herald, 22nd July). He said that the person who spray-painted a Yorkshire Dales national park “Westmorland Dales” road sign, so as to obscure the word “Yorkshire”, had “attempted to introduce some sense into this new sign”.

Vandalism is rarely anything but senseless. But the broader point he makes is worth challenging.

The Yorkshire Dales national park’s boundary is simply a national recognition for an outstanding area. The park has included part of Cumbria for nearly 45 years. A year ago that part simply got bigger.

Of much greater importance to most locals — and I’ve met some brilliant individuals and communities in the past year — is that their area has been recognised as worthy of national park status, and given new resources.

Many are rightly proud of that, and can see the new opportunities it offers for the conservation and promotion of the area.

The “Westmorland Dales” is a new term, but one coined locally ahead of national park designation. Becoming part of the Yorkshire Dales national park has boosted, rather than diminished, recognition of an ancient identity.

As a native of Penrith, if I can see the value in that I’m sure so can many of the readers of the Herald. Yours etc,

CARL LIS

(Chairman, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)

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