No name change for Yorkshire Dales National Park despite new Cumbrian additions

The Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park.
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The Yorkshire Dales National Park will stick with its name, despite over 10% of its land coming from Cumbria and Lancashire.

The announcement the Yorkshire Dales National Park is to expand from 2016 with the addition of various fells and rivers in Cumbria, came as the Defra Secretary Liz Truss visited Hawes in North Yorkshire this morning.

However, despite decades of discussion on what form an enlarged National Park should take, there has been no movement on the name.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron, whose Cumbrian constituency Westmorland and Lonsdale is involved in the expanded park proposal, said the identity of residents must be considered and he had previoulsy proposed the larger park should be called the Yorkshire and Westmorland Dales National Park.

The more vague branding of The Dales National Park had also been floated in the past by campaigners keen to see new areas designated with national park status.

The historic county of Westmorland covered much of the area being absorbed by the park.

However Defra Secretary Liz Truss has said she doesn’t consider there to be any merit in changing its name.

She said there are ‘good reasons’ why the original name, as given in 1954, should stay. The promotion of the Westmorland identity of those living in the park could be done through branding, marketing and engaging with local people on ‘how they see themselves’.

However Mr Farron said: “Geologically areas may belong to the Dales but historically they have different ties.

“One of the reasons the Lake District expansion has been less controversial is because in my experience there’s been less of an issue on identity.

“But you’ve got Sedbergh and Dent which are already in the national park but which are in Cumbria, but are culturally Yorkshire. Barbon and Casterton are Westmorland. Leck is in Lancashire and I don’t know how they will feel about being ‘occupied’.”

The expanded national park includes the areas of Barbon, Middleton, Casterton Leck Fells, River Lune and Firbank Fell which are split between Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Lancashire.

And the Orton Fells, northern Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang which are all in Cumbria.