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Holidaying at Lodge Yard? Bus it through an ‘improved’ Swaledale!

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 31 May 2018
Related property: Lodge Yard, Askrigg
Holidaying at Lodge Yard? Bus it through an ‘improved’ Swaledale!

Straddling the central Pennines in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria, the Yorkshire Dales National Park combines breathtaking scenery, rich wildlife and an unrivalled cultural heritage. One of the UK’s best-loved National Parks, the Yorkshire Dales is also the third largest, encompassing 683 square miles. Packed into the area is a fascinating variety of natural attractions – best visited on foot, by bike...

...or by bus.

The little blue bus through Swaledale is back, giving more people the chance to enjoy the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Now named the Northern Powergrid Country Bus 830 (in recognition of the energy company’s generous sponsorship), the bus, which two years ago proved a huge hit with BBC4 viewers as it was filmed wending its way across the Dales, will collect passengers from Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington and Richmond and take them on a scenic trip through the whole of Swaledale to Keld, before climbing the Buttertubs Pass to Hawes.

In a new initiative for this year (and hopefully beyond), passengers can stay on the same bus to enjoy the Wensleydale Wanderer 857 route, which will serve the north of Wensleydale: to Bainbridge, Askrigg (the location of Lodge Yard), Castle Bolton, Redmire and Leyburn, before going on to Middleham and Masham.

As you look out of the bus window at all that beauty – or perhaps alight to spend some quality time communing with what is arguably the most heavenly part of ‘God’s Own County’ – bear in mind that maintaining the Yorkshire Dales’ perfection takes commitment and management.

And money. Which is why locals and visitors alike are delighted that a £5m-plus scheme which could actually improve some of the North’s most beautiful and environmentally-key regions has won initial financial support.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and North Pennines AONB Partnership’s ‘Tees-Swale Naturally’ project, a large-scale habitat restoration initiative, has been awarded £400,000 to proceed with its development phase.

The authorities now have 18 months to win further Heritage Lottery funding, to create “the foundations of a robust and resilient ecological network” across Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Teesdale.

Under the scheme, the authorities, landowners and farmers are to join forces to restore internationally-important peatlands, improve upland hay meadows, and develop woodlands.

Another key feature of the scheme includes the creation of small-scale wetlands to create habitats and natural flood management.

Habitat improvement works will be undertaken – through improved management; increasing the size of wildlife sites; and enhancing connections between sites.

The initiative will also see improvements to access, environmental interpretation, landscape management traineeships created, and a volunteer workforce of 350 committed to the project.

The park authority will contribute £250,000 to the scheme. Upper Dales councillor and park authority member John Blackie welcomed the investment in the area.

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Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

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