About Us

People & the DALES  – Diversity, Access, Learning, Environment, Sustainability

People & the DALES

is a pioneering project launched by YDMT in 2009 to enable people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to visit the Yorkshire Dales countryside. People take part in activities, enjoy the magnificent landscape and learn new skills.

We work with groups from the nearby urban areas in West Yorkshire and North East Lancashire including Leeds, Bradford, Keighley, Halifax and Darwen.

People take part in fun, active and thought-provoking activities which help them to

  • learn about the natural environment
  • gain new experiences
  • have the skills and confidence to visit the Dales for themselves

All this whilst improving their physical health and well-being  – what a fantastic opportunity!

People & the DALES also aims to enthuse and inspire people to return to the Dales under their own steam  – just what this website is all about.

Who has benefitted from People & the DALES?

So far we have provided opportunities for about 10,000 people to experience the beautiful Yorkshire Dales

This includes 


  • People from a South Asian, Black or Refugee background. We work with community centres, children’s centres, and refugee and asylum seeker support groups
  • Young people from urban areas who may not have access to opportunities outdoors and may include young carers, pupil referral units and the probation service
  • People with disabilities, physical and learning difficulties
  • People experiencing mental health problems
  • We also work with other people from economically deprived urban areas such as housing associations, homeless people’s hostels and support groups, carers groups and community centres
What activities have people done through People & the DALES?

Groups take part in a range of fun, active and thought provoking activities that are tailor made to the people in the group.

No two days are the same!

Some people might do a short walk to Malham Cove, whilst others climb one of the Yorkshire Dales 3 Peaks.

Some people help rebuild stretches of dry-stone wall while others learn how to make and fly a kite.

Activities have included:

  • Assisi-House-Walling-at-Colt-ParkWalks of varying lengths often with a particular focus such as wildflowers, history, or archaeology.
  • Conservation and practical tasks such as dry stone walling, hill sheep farming, path laying, woodland management, tree planting, horticulture, and willow weaving.
  • Visits to specific sites such as farms, quarries, historical or archaeological features.
  • Environmental games.
  • Arts and crafts such as kite making and flying, painting and felt making.

The project has also explored new ways of sustaining people’s links with the Yorkshire Dales through visits linking people from urban areas with people from the Yorkshire Dales.

We also provide training for key members of community groups in organising and running their own visits. Contact us to talk with us about the training we can provide for your group.

What difference has People & the DALES made?

As well as giving people a great day out the project has had a positive impact on the people taking part.

After taking part in activities through People & the DALES people:

  • over-malham-coveFeel healthier through getting different kinds of physical exercise in the outdoors
  • Report increased levels of well-being
  • Felt a sense of connection and belonging
  • Learnt new skills and information
  • Have something positive to connect to
  • Felt inspired to be outdoors more and return to the Yorkshire Dales

People have also:

  • Developed new friendships
  • Shared new experiences with others

And above all enjoyed the beauty and tranquillity the Yorkshire Dales has to offer.
Many of our groups have come back to enjoy it for themselves and even more have discovered green-spaces on their doorstep to enjoy.

Case Study downloads

See our case studies to see the impact our work has had on some of the different groups we work with.


Find out about the impact the project has had by reading some of our reports
Pad report summary 2014
PaD Report 2009-13 final
Summary report
Impact – Ingleborough for ALL final report


People and the DALES was funded initially through a grant from Access to Nature (2009-2013) part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme. This website was created thanks to their support. From 2014 – 2020 this work has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to provide more opportunities in the Ingleborough triangle as part of the Stories in Stone scheme.

People and the DALES is now an integral part of YDMT’s work funded through money received from charitable trusts and our own ongoing fundraising.