Dales rises to climate change challenge

Carbon dioxide emissions have been cut by two-thirds by the authority that manages the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Carbon dioxide emissions have been cut by two-thirds by the authority that manages the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
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THE YORKSHIRE Dales National Park Authority has reduced its carbon emissions by two-thirds, saving the organisation a six-figure sum whilst limiting its impact on climate change.

Latest figures show the Authority has cut its emissions by 66 per cent in the last nine years, following a 15 per cent reduction in the last financial year alone.

Peter Charlesworth, the National Park Authority’s chairman, said: “Over the nine-year period, the reduction works out at a drop in carbon dioxide emissions for the Authority from 906 tonnes to 310 tonnes. It also represents a saving of £145,000 a year, which, in the current climate of cuts to our budget, is very good news.

“The biggest single change we have made the last financial year has been the installation of a biomass (wood chip) boiler in the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes to replace an oil-based heating system.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the National Park in the future and we must do all we can as organisations and as individuals to help lessen its impact on this beautiful but incredibly fragile landscape.”

Since 2006, the Authority and its partners the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the Forestry Commission have funded the planting of 750,000 native broadleaf trees.

The Authority has funded feasibility studies or provided grants for the installation of three hydro-electricity schemes at Halton Gill, Linton and Bainbridge that collectively generate enough electricity to power 170 houses.

While its work as part of the Yorkshire Peat Partnership has seen more than 13,000 hectares of eroded peatbog restored to capture carbon dioxide.