We are the only membership charity campaigning for the protection and enjoyment of the Dales
 We are the only membership charity campaigning for the protection and enjoyment of the Dales

Friends of the Dales is the new brand name of the Yorkshire Dales Society, a registered charity. Please help us to keep the Dales special and vibrant for years to come!

Help the Dales - Become a Friend of the Dales today!


We really need your support to help keep the Dales special and vibrant for years to come. We are thrilled that over 170 people have signed up to become Friends between June and the end of October 2017 - a fantastic boost to our membership and the clout we have as a campaigning charity! Thank you to all our Friends for their support!

Please join us or donate to support our charitable work to protect the Dales - you can use our secure online payment - and you can Gift Aid your contibution too! Join us or Donate

Already a Friend - You can renew online!


Existing members of the Yorkshire Dales Society - you can now renew your subscriptions or make a donation online using our secure online payment - just go to Renew Online

Follow us - on facebook, twitter and instagram for fantastic photos of the Dales, and more.

Latest News...

3rd December 2017. Article in The Guardian about the plans of the Councils and of the National Park Authority to push for higher taxation on 2nd homes in the Dales to help address the affordable housing challenge. See: The Guardian. The FOTD are supportive of this initiative which is consistent with our own policy on Housing.

2nd December 2017. Our Friends of the Dales group on Ilkley Moor this morning having enjoyed a walk around Ilkley's key heritage buildings expertly led by trustee Marion Temple. In the afternoon we heard a wonderful talk by Sir Rodney Brooke about the saving of thje impressive Ilkley Manor House for the community. A grand day out.

28 November 2017

We've just added new events into our programme for January - May 2018! See our Events Page for more info. Members can attend all our regular events for free, and our walks are free for everyone. Hope to see you in 2018! Photo shows walk leader Sheila Gordon during the lunch break on her walk near Settle in 2014.

November 11th 2017.  The FOTD enjoyed a fantastic 'Kilnsey and its Show' event today, in glorious Wharfedale sunshine. In the morning, Jane Lunnon and Pat and Phil Carroll of the Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group gave us a fascinating insight to the history of the village of Kilnsey through its vernacular architecture. In the afternoon, Jamie Roberts and Victoria Benn gave a wonderful presentation on the history of the Kilnsey Show, based on their impressive 'Studs &Crooks' book, which is highly recommended. Many thanks to all who attended and to our trustees Nancy Stedman and Tony Smith who hosted.

November 11th 2017. An article and leader in today's The Times about the community of the Dales Market Town of Hawes taking steps to secure its own future. See the Report and the Leader

November 5th 2017 FOTD Chairman, Mark Corner, had the privilege of addressing the National Park Authority Volunteers at their Autumn meeting in Threshfield. Mark described the work that our charity does to help look after the Dales and thanked the Dales Volunteers for all they do on the ground in caring for this special place.

November 3rd 2017. Author and FOTD supporter Bill Bryson sings the praises of the Yorkshire Dales and National Parks in general in his interview with Countryfile Magazine

November 2nd 2017. Report in the Craven Herald on "National park urges developers to build more houses in Yorkshire Dales" including our concerns.

October 30th 2017. Article in today's  Yorkshire Post  "Builders urged to develop homes in the Dales" We were asked by the Yorkshire Post for our views and responded: "We agree that the lack of affordable housing, and indeed the shortage of jobs that pay enough to make housing affordable, are two of the biggest challenges facing the National Park and we support efforts to help tackle these issues. With an average house price of £300,000 in the National Park, a 40% premium above houses in the region outside of the Park, and average incomes of below £20,000 p.a. the scale of the affordability challenge is clear. We support the Authority in encouraging the building of housing for rent or purchase that is affordable but real care is needed that we avoid proliferation of open market housing that doesn't address the issue. We don't need more second homes. Developers seem to have a tendency to agree to the provision of affordable housing as part of a development but  then find reasons to wriggle out of commitments. Or local occupancy is specified and over time pressure grows to lift this condition. As well as nudging others to act we would like to see the Authority itself adopt some more innovative approaches, such as investing itself in land that is used specifically for affordable local housing. The New Forest National Park Authority has done just that and it may well be a model that could be adopted in the Yorkshire Dales."

October 29th 2017. Very nice comments about our Dales Community Archives website by FOTD member Paul Jackson in his excellent weekly blog:  Scribble by the Ribble. Thanks Paul!

October 28th 2017. Despite pretty dismal weather we had an enjoyable "Salmon and Hoffmann Kiln" walk on Saturday. Thank you to the 22 walkers who braved the mud and were rewarded with views of salmon leaping up Stainforth Foss. The kiln was impressive, and dry! Special thanks to volunteers Janice Thomson and Graeme Ferguson who made sure we all made it safely back to Settle.

October 21 2017. Great turnout for our 'Celebration Open Day' at Victoria Hall, Settle, showcasing progress made over the past 18 months with our Capturing the Past project. Over 120 people enjoyed seeing fascinating historic photographs, social records, wills and more. Some brought along their own archive material to be digitised. You can access the Dales Community Archive from the link.

October 21st 2017. Article in the Yorkshire Post by vice president Colin Speakman on the  'Demise of rural buses due to false economy'. SeeYorkshire Post

October 12th-14th 2017. Several trustees of FOTD attended the National Park Societies' annual conference in the New Forest. We enjoyed an excellent programme and learned about the opportunities and challenges associated with the wonderful New Forest National Park. Details of the programme can be found here: Friends of the New Forest

October 2017. Nice article in the 12 October Craven Herald on  our Capturing the Past digital archiving project. Craven Herald

October 2017. An article in the 12 October Craven Herald by our vice president Colin Speakman challenging the Park Authority to show leadership in the provision of public transport in the National Park.Craven Herald

October 2017. We fully support the efforts of the National Park Authority to safeguard the primary schools in the Yorkshire Dales - such an important part of the future of our local communities. See the local press coverage: Craven Herald

October 2017.   October 9 coverage in the Daily Telegraph  of the funding challenge for public transport - focusing on the Northern Dalesman, star of the BBC4 TV programme, 'All Aboard! The Country Bus'. See:   Telegraph

New 2017 Friends of the Dales leaflet

All about the Friends of the Dales, our charitable work to protect the Dales, and how you can help!


We have just secured a fantastic discount for members with Cotswold Outdoor and their associated companies Snow & Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need! When you become a Friend of the Dales and join as a member, you'll receive a special discount code to use across all four brands - instore or online (T&Cs apply). See Join or Renew online for more details of this great offer exclusive to members.

Our charitable work


We have a good track record - for over 35 years - in campaigning on issues of crucial importance to the Dales. These include affordable housing, rural bus services, biodiversity, green lanes, Dales farming and landscape conservation - plus many others!


We keep a watching brief on what is happening in the Dales, lobby government and intervene where we believe appropriate. For example, we monitor significant planning applications in the Dales and comment on many each year - supporting those we believe are right for the Dales


We run varied walks and talks throughout the year


Vibrant Communities - free guided visits to Dales towns and villages organised and led by local members


Dales Insights - afternoon talks and free shorter guided walks


Classic Countryside - free longer guided walks with an extra "something special"


Focus on the Dales - full day event on a topical Dales subject


Come  and  join us, most are free to all! See Upcoming Events 

Two of our Key Projects




DalesBus services run on Sundays and Bank Holidays through the summer (and some in the winter) across the Yorkshire Dales, llinking into bus and train services from across the region.


So you can enjoy the Dales in the most environmentally friendly way!


DalesBus is run by our social enterprise company the Dales & Bowland CIC. Volunteers organise, fundraise and publicise the services, but the buses themselves are run by bus companies or community providers. Full timetables - see DalesBus

Capturing the Past



Capturing the Past is our fantastic three year project to work with people and groups in the Ingleborough Dales area to train them to catalogue and digitise their own local history archives and make these available to the public through a new website.


Our archive project is being funded through Stories in Stone, a four year programme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area. The scheme has been developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership and is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Yorkshire Dales Community Archives



This website is operated by the Yorkshire Dales Society, a registered charity (Charity Number 515384) and a company limited by guarantee (Company Number 1822908).


Our Charitable Objects are 1) To promote for the benefit of the public, the conservation of the landscape, biodiversity and cultural heritage of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and adjacent areas, and the social and economic wellbeing of its local communities;and to encourage others to engage with,understand,enjoy and protect these areas, and 2) In pursuance of the above, to advance the education of the public.

Everyone is welcome at our events, members and non members - see Upcoming Events for more information. The next event is a morning guided walk looking at the heritage of Ilkley town, with an afternoon talk about the rejuvenation of the Manor House. Saturday 2 December - all welcome to either/both walk and talk, and afterwards a chance to enjoy the town with its seasonal ambiance.

There are many ways to Support our Charity and be a Friend of the Dales, to help keep the Dales special and vibrant for years to come. 

Join us as a member

Make a donation

Leave a gift  in your will

Register as a supporter 

Help as a volunteer at our events

Our Business members are very valuable to us and we thank them all. For a list of all these businesses, or for more information on the benefits of business membership, click HERE

Alastair Humpreys 

Our Patron

says :


"it's more beautiful than you realise; the people are open and friendly and have time for you; your phone might not work which is a positive as you'll have more time - slow down and enjoy the silence".

Alastair’s quest for adventure began young. Aged 8, he completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge over 26 miles 

Bill Bryson, a supporter, says :

"There isn't a more glorious and beguiling landscape anywhere, or one more deserving of our support. It really is as simple as that"

President Sir Gary Verity

Chairman Mark Corner

Registered Address:

Canal Wharf, Eshton Road, Gargrave, BD23 3PN.

Charity number 515384.Company limited by guarantee number 1822908

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