Chair’s Report

Pamela Jordan
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

As I am writing this who could have believed that this time last year the world was going to face a global pandemic which would impact so much on our lives. Naturally, along with many other organisations, our activities in 2020 have been curtailed but reviewing them to write this I think we have achieved a lot in the circumstances. Sadly, the outings and walks had to be cancelled along with the published programme of meetings but we have now had well attended Zoom meetings which have been met with an excellent response. We have arranged a full programme to be delivered by Zoom until at least Easter. Hopefully, with the mass vaccination programme, life may be able to return to something resembling normality.

Earlier in the year David Johnson’s new book, Settle: A Historic Market Town, was published to great acclaim. The sales of the book have been strong both with locals and visitors and it deserves a place on our bookshelves for many years to come.

Planning matters, such an important part of the work of the Trust, have been of concern to us. We responded to the White Paper Planning for the Future as we believe the proposals threaten areas such as North Craven and we are also closely monitoring the proposals to create a unitary authority. One has only to look at the catastrophic case of Hellifield Flashes to realise how important it is to have a competent planning authority in place.

But the pièce de résistance of the year has to be our environmental conference ‘A Green New Dales’ which my predecessor, John Asher, organised in conjunction with Bruce McLeod of the Friends of the Dales, following which a programme of actions was published. What a fitting finale to John’s time as Chair of the Trust!

Finally, one of the things that came out of Jessica Kemmish’s review of membership, which you can read here in the Journal, was that many members joined the Trust on recommendation from a friend or neighbour. New members are vital to our organisation so could I urge you all to encourage others to join us as we have many challenges ahead and a strong enthusiastic membership is paramount to our work.