Walking boots

Huge inequalities in the UK make it hard for many people from disadvantaged communities to visit and benefit from the special landscapes here in the Yorkshire Dales. 

Through our outreach project - People and the DALES - we're helping to tackle the barriers that prevent people from accessing and enjoying the countryside, and make everyone feel welcome.  

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. 

Since we first started out in 2009 People and the DALES has reached thousands of children and adults from disadvantaged communities, many of whom had never visited the countryside before.

It’s getting to know the people and hearing their stories that helps show why this work is so important. For many people a day out in the countryside can be a life-changing experience. It helps them leave their troubles behind, meet new people, and relax. It gives them hope that life can be better. 

Watch BBC Look North's coverage of one of our lambing events with a group of refugees from Lancashire.

Who is People and the DALES for? 

The communities we reach are from urban areas around the Yorkshire Dales, including Leeds, Bradford and North West Lancashire. We work with refugee and asylum seekers, people with a disability or mental health difficulties, young people from inner cities, ethnic minority groups and people from deprived areas. 

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. It’s amazing to see the difference a day in the countryside can make. 

  • 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. 

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

People and the DALES hosting weekend

The People and the DALES team also help to co-ordinate hosting weekends every year where communities in the Dales 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 hosting weekends and other events and activities on our Facebook page...

People and the Dales on Facebook

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 community groups to come back to the Dales independently, by providing training for groups on how to organise their own future visits, and building better links between rural and urban community groups.

If you’re planning to visit the Yorkshire Dales on your own or with a group there are lots of things you can do to help everyone have a happy and fun day out.

You can find useful information about planning your visit, keeping safe, things to do and places to go on the People and the Dales website. You'll also find walk guides for routes that are popular with our groups.

If you’re part of a community group and want to find out how you can get involved email: info@ydmt.org or call 015242 51002.

People and the DALES website   


Refugee Week, Skipton 2022

Help us give hope  

Everyone should have equal opportunity to visit and benefit from the special landscapes here in the Yorkshire Dales. But for many communities that simply isn’t possible. 

We rely on your donations to bring a bit of hope to thousands of disadvantaged children and adults, many of whom had never visited the countryside before. A donation of £40 could help give a child from a deprived area a day out to remember in the countryside. 

Donate now to make a difference 


Learn more about our work 

Darley village shop

Community Grants  

Community grants support passionate local people across the region to continue or kick-start initiatives that make a real difference in their local communities.

Green Futures

Green Futures 

We are committed to making sure every young person is supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and wider society.

Rural Apprenticeships

Rural Apprenticeships give young people who live in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas the chance to stay here and gives them skills to help care for this special area.