The Yorkshire Dales

A map of the Yorkshire Dales and the British Isles
The Yorkshire Dales attract tourists who enjoy wildlife and hiking

The Yorkshire Dales is one of 15 national parks in the UK. A national park is a protected area because of the wildlife, countryside and heritage. It has a unique landscape, which attracts both visitors and wildlife.

A national park's key aims are:

  • Conservation - to help conserve the area’s wildlife, landscape and cultural heritage.
  • Opportunity - to promote the understanding and enjoyment of the area by the public.
  • Community - to help strengthen the social and economic wellbeing of the local communities.

Characteristics and features of the Yorkshire Dales

  • The land is formed from different rock types. The type of weathering and rate of erosion are different with different rock types and so form different features.
  • The predominant rock is limestone. Other rocks, such as Millstone Grit, are more resistant to erosion and form some of the higher altitude areas.
  • Moors are high-altitude areas. The dales are another name for the more sheltered valleys.
  • The land use is mainly limited to pastoral sheep farming because of the exposed landscape, short growing season and high rainfall.
  • The limestone is used in the buildings and for the dry stone walls.
  • There are few trees, with exceptions being on steep valley sides and beside rivers.
  • There is evidence of lead mining from the past.
  • There is a low population density of 11.5 people per sq km.