National Park Boundary Extension

Our current Parish council voted for Crosby Ravensworth Parish not to be included in a National Park at the last Parish Council meeting, but our Chair read out, what I consider to be a very good model response to Natural England’s consultation acting in accordance with public wishes as expressed under our previous Council.

While Parish Councils are expected to be representative of their residents, councillors are allowed to act in tune with their personal perspectives and conscience. This case is complex ( see below ) they may have been doing both.

Please note that  Table 1 on page 2 of Natural England’s E1. Summary of results of 2009/10 consultation Lakes to Dales Landscape Designation Project document states that 85% of resident respondents in our area (152 out of 178) were in favour of our area being in the  Orton Fells National Park extension (Reagill was never included in the plan, but many people asked for it to be). 67% were in favour of being in LDNP and 56% in favour of being in YDNP, but the percentage of our Parishioners is unquantified, it could be the same, or more, or less.

Natural England say that due to the eclectic nature of the responses they can’t work out this percentage.

Please let Natural England know your thoughts whether you wish our area to be included or otherwise.

Here is a  response arguing for our area to be included within the NP, produced in good faith before the recent Parish council vote.

I can print off this communication if it would help you and I have six response packs to give out should you not be on email.
I can also email your response if you have one written but don’t have access to email to

If people want to respond using Natural England’s formal response form, they can do this online either via or from this direct link:

In your email to Natural England, you might wish to add a bit saying the National Park should pay for maintenance of any toilets not EDC, because this seems right and fair in light of EDC losing out a small percentage (estimated to be about 7%) of their planning revenue if Natural England do manage the area.

You might want to add that our community pub due to open this year is likely to benefit from the tourism.
Also in any response to NE, please include your full name and postcode and state your Parish.

——- The Response begins

The Orton Fells area is located at the boundary of both national parks. The M6 seems to be the natural boundary, being discernible as opposed to the “wiggly line” across open fell previously suggested.

As your recommendations are to include the area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, we would like to suggest that the title of the new enlarged National Park be changed to the Westmorland and Yorkshire Dales National Park, this would most likely be very much more amicable to those residing and working in both counties.

B 3

Addition six, we would also recommend that edition six begins further south at Sproat Ghyll Farm, adjacent to the M6 and continue further northwards to the underpass, which takes the C3053 eastwards. The “limestone landscape” of the Orton Fells extends much further north than shown as “addition six”. These extended portions hold much evidence from time is long since passed.

Further information and evidence is related in part D: additional information.

Part C: C1 strategic environmental assessment, page 16. Orton Fells. 5.17 to 5.20

We agree with most of the various statements. Emphasis must be on the highly sensitive core area in regards to any large-scale or major developments such as car parks, toilet blocks etc. We feel that the National Parks authority should have responsibility for managing any public conveniences. NB. There will be a community pub opening in 2011 in Crosby Ravensworth.

Narrow roads prevail with agricultural machinery having to use them daily, including weekends. Farming being the main enterprise, to which its transport and business needs must have priority – no parking should be allowed in farm gateways or in passing places, and we do not condone the proliferation of signs.

We disagree with the statement saying the area is lacking strategic management, etc. when the majority of the uplands, Commons and farms are now in environmental schemes, organised by natural England, to conserve and maintain those particular sensitive areas.

Part D:

Extend  addition six northwards and eastwards, to include Hardendale and Reagill, to the C3053 road. Then eastwards, across the C3056 then to High Whitber, then across the C3058 still going east to Peaslands to join the C3057 then directly to join the B6260.

This suggested boundary follows public roads and incorporates important habitats for a number of wildlife species, such as deer, badger, brown hare, along with County Nature Sites identified by the Cumbria wildlife trust, namely, Hardendale Meadows, Potrigg Limestone Pavement, Threaplands Gill and Little Beck Farm meadow. The coniferous plantations, when mature, are being replaced by those consisting of deciduous species. But at this time they are important habitats for the native red squirrel (one of their main strongholds in Cumbria) and must not prevent them from being considered an area of natural beauty. (Natural environment and rural communities act 2006)

The northern boundary, as proposed is very difficult to determine on the ground, it is based on features that no longer exist, i.e. field boundaries removed, with most of the boundary in private hands, and not following rights-of-way. Definite and visual boundary must be recognisable  on the ground to alleviate any contradictions from planning authorities, and land management agencies.

This boundary change would take in important cultural heritage assets, mainly Hardendale Quarry (to become a nature reserve in 2018), where the limestone strata and formation are visible to all, the stone circle at Harkeld Common Hardendale Nab, with its unique limestone scar (reproduced in the building of Rheged visitor centre), the unspoiled Hardendale Hamlet, dating back to the late 1600’s, lime kilns at Wintertarn, the Tarn uniquely formed by winter rains fed via karst features and high rainfall springs. Reagill village with little change, the Grange farm, a survival of times connected with Shap Abbey, Byland Abbey and Whitby Abbey, coal mines used to keep Lowther Castle warm (vertical shaft type), a nationally renowned image garden, sculpted by Thomas Bland, (1798-1865), other local monuments sculpted and erected by him include the Addison monument at Maulds Meaburn, Black Dub monument on Crosby Ravensworth fell, the Victoria Jubilee monument on Beacon Hill and the Victoria monument near Shap Wells erected in 1842 that bears the statue of Britannia.

Gunnerkeld concentric stone circle, along with that at Oddendale are two of only 12 in England.

From high ground at Reagill, can be seen a panoramic view of the Lakeland hills, the northern landscape stretches to the relay masts at Skelton with the eastern panorama taking in the Pennine range from Castle Carrick to Stainmore and wild boar fell.

The above should be based on “the Sandford principle“.

——- Response ends ####

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