When I’m driving over to Pateley Bridge from Grassington, as I did this week, I usually stop briefly – just after Greenhow – and take in the view. At times the light changes dramatically here and with blustery March weather it was certainly the case on my latest visit. Looking over Heathfield Moor to the high fells towards Great and Little Whernside, Upper Nidderdale appears a wild, rough region. Some might say not as pretty as parts of neighbouring Wharfedale but with a unique character and deserving of the same high status as the other Dales when it comes to tourism. Nidderdale has never been within the National Park boundary yet it is very much part of the Yorkshire Dales as perceived by the thousands of visitors who flock here every year. So present hyped-up worries that changing the name of the park – which by the way has never been officially proposed by the authority or Natural England – should the extension at its western end go ahead, must have the good folk of Nidderdale wondering what all the fuss is about.

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