After fears that its budget would be frozen, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is celebrating news of a ten per cent rise in government funding over the next three years. The Rural Affairs Minister Jonathan Shaw said the extra cash would enable national parks to continue protecting and improving the country’s landscape, heritage and wildlife.

This year the authority received £5.1 million from Defra. That figure will rise to £5.3 million in 2008/09, £5.5 million in 2009/10 and £5.6 million in 2010/11.

The park’s chairman, Carl Lis, said: “We are very pleased with the settlement especially as we were faced at one point with what we thought was going to be a standstill award with zero growth. In addition, the fact we have a three-year settlement will enable us to plan our work with more certainty. The increase is a recognition by the Government of the invaluable contribution that the work of the National Parks can bring to society as a whole.”

The park authority says the extra cash will allow it to maintain services and to put more resources into priority areas like climate change, biodiversity, sustainable development and rights of way.

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