Stories in Stone, a scheme of conservation and community projects focused on the Ingleborough area, is being extended by a year.
Beginning in early 2016 and originally planned to finish at the end of 2019, it now means the project will continue until the end of 2020.
Largely funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players, the scheme is managed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership and led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT).
Steve Garland, chair of the Landscape Partnership, said: “I’m delighted that the Heritage Fund has agreed to our proposal to extend the scheme. I’m amazed by the range and quality of the projects, activities and events that the Landscape Partnership and its project partners has delivered so far, and I look forward to seeing more great things over the next year or so.”
To date, 3km of drystone wall, ten field barns and many local heritage features have been restored, 4,500 schoolchildren have gone on educational trips to local heritage sites, 1,500 people from urban areas such as Blackburn and Leeds have visited the area for health and well-being benefits, 900 people have gone on training courses and learnt new skills in practical conservation and wildlife identification, seven traineeships for local young people have been created, nature reserves and caves are being better managed and new woodlands created, archaeological investigations have led to a greater understanding of the history of the area, a wide range of walk leaflets, publications and interpretation panels have been produced, historical archives have been digitised and made publicly available, and access for all has been improved.
The Landscape Partnership also includes the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, Natural England, Hanson UK and Tarmac Ltd.
Local landowners, farmers, educational organisations, parish and district councils, businesses, and local history and community groups are also involved in the scheme.
Don Gamble, Scheme Manager, said: “Thanks to the incredible work and support of the scheme’s many project partners, YDMT’s delivery team, and the Landscape Partnership Board, we’ve delivered more projects and engaged with more people than expected.
“We’ve also generated more income than anticipated, through grants, contributions from partners, applicants and supporters, and course fees. This has enabled us to do more while using less of the Heritage Fund’s £2m grant. The extension will allow us to use the remaining cash to do more good work in the Ingleborough area.”
The Partnership plans to use the extension to provide another round of heritage grants, more training courses, more opportunities for schoolchildren, young people, residents and visitors, more cave conservation, a range of celebratory arts-based events, and an end-of-scheme conference.