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The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has been given £196k by Natural England to help a project to attract disadvantaged groups to the Dales. It’s a worthwhile project and well done for the YDMT for taking on the work – but isn’t this something government should be doing through schools? Lack of funding for staff and equipment, together with higher levels of concern over safety issues and insurance means that the ‘outdoor activities’ sessions I enjoyed so much during my schooling are now rare. There are several underused educational facilities dotted around the Dales – some within an hour’s drive of major towns and cities – but they will stay underused (or be sold off) until education bosses move outdoor activities further up their list of priorities.
Photo shows the Countryside Activity Centre at Little Stainforth in Ribblesdale, belonging to Batley Business & Enterprise College. Or, as it was known in less fanciful times, the Batley High School Hut.

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