There are numerous agencies at national, regional and local levels working to improve the landscape and support communities in rural areas. They key initiatives currently working in Wensleydale are listed below. 

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Humber District River Basin Management Plan focuses on the pressures facing the water environment in the Humber River Basin District and the actions that will address them to meet the WFD. Prepared by the Environment Agency with wide ranging consultation its first revision ‘Water, Life and Livelihood’ is due to be published December 2015.

The Environment Agency and DEFRA’s catchment based approach (CaBA) is a community led approach that engages society to help improve our water environments. The Swale, Ure, Nidd and Ouse CaBA partnership Dales to Vales Rivers Network covers the Wensleydale project area and considers the project as one of the main means to deliver the CaBA objectives within the upper Ure catchment.

Yorkshire Water’s ‘Blueprint for Yorkshire’ is a 25 year strategy for how the water company will operate in relation to water treatment, supply and usage, the environment, customers and climate change.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan is the key document that sets out the vision, strategic policies and medium term objectives for the National Park and guides the delivery of National Park purposes. The Wensleydale Strategy will mirror many of the objectives and actions found within the plan.

The Yorkshire Dales Local Plan is the Authority’s strategy for new development in the National Park. It sets out local policy to steer development decisions and guide planning applications. The draft Yorkshire Dales Local Plan (2015-2030), is to be considered for adoption in 2016. The purpose of this Local Plan is to help deliver sustainable development. It responds to the national growth agenda and is a step change in policy that will extend the scope and flexibility for new development that is needed in the Park, or which would otherwise be beneficial to it.

Cross compliance is a mechanism that links direct payments for agricultural production to compliance by farmers with basic standards concerning the environment, food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare, as well as the requirement of maintaining land in good agricultural and environmental condition. The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK.

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) is a project run by Natural England in partnership with the Environment Agency and DEFRA to raise awareness of diffuse water pollution from agriculture by offering free training and advice in ‘priority catchments’. Since 2010 a CSF programme has been run by YDNPA and Natural England within the Raydale catchment in Wensleydale, this was extended to the whole catchment in 2015 and has included some capital grant funding to support changes to farm infrastructure and land management.

Natural England administer the national agri-environment schemes – Environmental stewardship and Countryside Stewardship on behalf of DEFRA. At present, these schemes cover 73% of Wensleydale and are the main way of helping farmers to deliver environmental management.

Farm advice and support is offered by a range of specialist consultants, land agents and farm advice officers operating in the Wensleydale area. A number are connected to private consultancies such as ADAS or national agricultural support organisations like Eblex and Dairyco. A significant level of support and advice comes from local advisers, including local land agents, YDNPA staff, small private consultancies, National Trust officers and Rivers Trust staff.

Biodiversity 2020 is a government strategy aimed at halting the loss of biodiversity by 2020 and beyond. The strategy sets out ambitious goals for 2020 and 2050 – intending to provide better, more, bigger and joined sites for nature, as recommended by the Making Space for Nature review. The key sectors where work and actions will be undertaken include Agriculture, Forestry and Planning and Development.

The local biodiversity action plan for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Nature in the Dales 2020 Vision sets out our aspirations for action between 2010 and 2020, aiming to conserve and enhance the biodiversity within the National Park.

The National Park has adopted an internal Ecological Networks Strategy: 2014-2018. A robust habitat network model and three species Habitat Suitability Models have been built. These models are being used to support development management and land management work and help establish more coherent ecological networks on the ground.

Heritage 2020 sets out how heritage organisations will work together to benefit the historic environment. It is coordinated on behalf of the whole sector by the Historic Environment Forum

Special Qualities, Special Experiences brings together the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s policy and principles for access, recreation, diversity, visitor management and sustainable tourism in the National Park.