People and the DALES

People and the DALES is an award-winning project that provides life-changing opportunities for disadvantaged people from urban areas to access and experience the Yorkshire Dales countryside, often for the first time.

Diversity, Access, Learning, Environment, Sustainability

People and the DALES stands for Diversity, Access, Learning, Education and Sustainability. We think that about sums up what we do – to enable people from diverse backgrounds to access the countryside, learn about nature and benefit from spending time in the Yorkshire Dales – but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

In the last 12 years People and the DALES has benefited 8,000 disadvantaged children and adults, many of whom had never visited the countryside before.

It’s getting to know the people and hearing their stories that helps reveal why this project is so important. Like the new mums who live with the day-to-day stresses of being a refugee or asylum seeker. For them a day out in the countryside can be a life-changing experience. It helps them leave their troubles behind, compare life in the English countryside with life back home, and smile. It gives them hope that life can be better.

Lambing with PAFRAS Leeds   Willow weaving with Disability Resource Centre     Walk training

Who do we work with?

The groups we work with come from nearby urban areas of Leeds, Bradford and North West Lancashire. People taking part include those with a disability, young people from inner cities, people from ethnic minority groups, individuals from deprived locations and people with mental health difficulties.

Refugee and asylum seekers

The People and the DALES team help to co-ordinate hosting weekends every year where communities in Skipton and Malhamdale open their hearts and homes to refugee and asylum seeking women and children for a weekend of fun and friendship. Our visitors have the chance to enjoy the Yorkshire Dales hospitality and take part in lots of different activities. Read more about our recent hosting weekends:

Types of activities

It’s amazing to see the difference a day in the countryside can make. Our activities offer the chance to experience something new and positive in the Yorkshire Dales – helping people to learn new skills, forge friendships, feel healthier and more relaxed.

  • Day visits – such as nature walks, environmental activities, kite flying, craft activities and farm visits
  • Practical work – dry stone walling, path laying, woodland management and work on a hill farm
  • Residentials – for those that would benefit from a night away from home
  • Training - for community group leaders. Read about Hills Skills Training.  

We can support groups by providing outdoor clothing and where possible helping towards transport or residential costs.

Coming back to the Dales  

People and the DALES aims to inspire groups to spend more time in green spaces – whether it’s in the Yorkshire Dales or when they are back at home. We also support groups to come back to the Dales independently, by providing training for key members of community groups on how to organise their own future visits, and building better links between rural and urban community groups.

Find out more

Find useful walk, visitor and travel information as well as more information about the project and the people involved. 

Visit the peopleandthedales.org           Get involved          Partners