The National Trust owns a large slice of upper Wharfedale, in the
form of the Upper Wharfedale Estate, which was gifted to the charity
in 1988 by Graham Watson MBE JP MA.
Graham Watson was a Bradford businessman and a lover of the countryside.
He retired from industry in 1959 and for 40 years devoted his time
to public and country matters. He was invited to join the Lake District
Special Planning Board (becoming Chairman of their Development Control
Committee), the North West Regional Committee of the National Trust
and a range of other bodies, all actively concerned with the conservation
of and the appropriate development of the Lake District. He became
a founder member of the Yorkshire Dales Society and a Member for
22 years of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. For 12
years he was Chairman of the Cave Rescue Organisation. He and his
brother David bought farms in Wharfedale and built up an estate
of over 5,000 acres which, on the death of his brother, he gave
to the National Trust.
The Trust has since added to the estate, which now totals 2,470ha
(6,100 acres), including nine farms and the hamlets of Yockenthwaite
and Cray. There is an interesting exhibition in Townhead Barn, Buckden,
which shows the prehistory and history of the area, as well as the
ways in which the Trust is working to conserve it.
The Trust offers holiday
properties which it owns to rent -
Old Smithy, Buckden
National Trust Upper
Wharfedale web page
You are here: Home/Wharfedale/Conservation/