[O]rton Parish Council Chairman Kyle Blue has received a “National Park Hero Award” for his unstinting support for the extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and for being a “critical friend” of the Park Authority.
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Chairman Carl Lis formally presented him with a certificate, along with a bottle of English sparkling wine, at a meeting of Orton Parish Council on 15 January.
The hero awards are organised by the partnership body, National Parks UK, and were announced at a conference held last October in the South Downs.
Carl Lis said: “We nominated Kyle for the hero award because we wanted to recognise all his dedication, hard work and enthusiasm during the past few years in supporting the extension to the Yorkshire Dales National Park designation.
“Kyle has been a great advocate for National Parks. He actively campaigned for the boundary extension using his local contacts and quietly understated skills of persuasion.
“Once this was achieved, Kyle didn’t rest there. He has helped practically in so many ways to ensure a smooth transition through his role as Parish Council chair. It has meant that local communities have been fully engaged and supportive of the process, and there has been a good understanding of the benefits National Park status brings. This has enabled working relationships between Authority staff and the local community to be easily established and developed.
“While being a friend of the National Park, he has remained independent and critical where necessary – ensuring the National Park Authority continues to be challenged in carrying out its responsibilities.”
On 1 August 2016, the Yorkshire Dales National Park grew by nearly a quarter, with an extra 161 square miles (417 square kilometres) of stunning upland landscape treasured through national designation for everyone to enjoy.