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Poetic call for national park expansion

Posted 6 September 2012
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Poetic call for national park expansion
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Former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion has given his backing to proposals to extend the boundaries of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.

The writer spoke up for the plans when visiting the Barbon, Middleton and Leck Fells, plus the Lune valley, as a guest of Friends of the Lake District (FLD).

Sir Andrew, who took up the post of president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England earlier this year, said: "The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks are undoubtedly national treasures. The beauty and value of the proposed areas to come into these two National Parks is equally unquestionable.

"By designating these areas within the National Parks we can ensure that the landscapes that we have come to recognise and enjoy can also be protected for future generations."
FLD noted that a public consultation on the issue earlier this year found 85 per cent support for the extensions, which would add two new areas of land to each national park and create one point where only the M6 motorway will separate the two.

Many of those supporters could be people who like to head for the countryside with their walking boots or mountain bikes and would value having the landscapes in question protected from new developments like windfarms or pylons.

Walkers may particularly value the inclusion of the northern Howgills in the Yorkshire Dales, with these hills being widely regarded as having the same qualities as their counterparts in the southern part of the range.

However, the original national park was constrained by the 1952 Yorkshire county boundaries, unlike since 1974 when part of the national park has been in Cumbria.

The northern Howgills were part of the now defunct county of Westmorland, with the boundary including the 2,219 ft summit of The Calf.

Leck Fell is also outside Yorkshire, lying in part of Lancashire.