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Yorkshire Dales National Park AuthorityVisit Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of 12 National Parks in England and Wales. The National Park, most of which is privately owned, occupies an area of some 1762 km of mainly upland countryside, part of the central Pennines chain of hills which runs up the spine of Northern England. A small part of the National Park lies in the county of Cumbria, most is within the county of North Yorkshire. The National Park Authority's Historic Environment Record (formerly Sites and Monuments Record) aims to be the most comprehensive record of information about the historic environment of the Yorkshire Dales. The historic environment of the Yorkshire Dales is particularly rich. The extensive pastoral agriculture practised in recent centuries has enabled the survival above ground of a wide range of medieval and prehistoric settlements and field systems while creating significant features in its own right - the thousands of kilometres of dry stone walls which divide the valleys and moorland into manageable plots; and, in some dales, the dense scatter of stone field barns set amongst the walled meadows and pastures. Exploitation of the rich mineral resources of the area, particularly coal, limestone and lead has also created its own distinctive monuments and landscapes. The core of the record is a computer database, but the Record also comprises material in a range of media including aerial and terrestrial photographs, copies of historic maps and detailed reports of a large number of archaeological and building recording projects and excavations by a wide range of private individuals, local societies, commercial companies and university departments.