Guardians of the Yorkshire Dales are to have their budget slashed.

Their spending pot has been reduced to £5.1 million for 2011/12, a drop of £300,000 on this year. But bigger reductions are in line for the future, with the Yorkshire Dales National Park annual grant falling to £4.2 million by 2014-15.

It represents a cut of 28.5 per cent, taking into account inflation, over the four-year period.

The park’s chairman Carl Lis said: “It’s impossible to pretend this is anything other than bad news and it clearly represents a major challenge over the four years.”

A meeting is to be held in February, after consultation with the public, on the budget.