Visitors are a number one priority in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – and the park has won an award to prove it.

The Government’s Customer Service Excellence Award has been handed out to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) for the third year running.

An external assessor spent two days looking at the way Authority staff interacted with visitors to its offices and National Park Centres.

He found that standards had been maintained or improved in many areas over past years.

Authority chairman Carl Lis said: “In order to maintain the Customer Service Excellence Standard, the Authority can partially rather than wholly meet the standards in a maximum of 11 out of 57 elements of the award. In fact, we had eight partials in 2010, six in 2011 and now only two.

“It is great news because it means we are continually improving our services to the public every year.

“As well as meeting staff, the Assessor also spoke to partner organisations and to members of the public about their impressions and perception of the Authority’s services and these were overwhelmingly positive. “And he highlighted the customer-focused approach of the Authority – which is a reflection of the attitude and professionalism of the staff and the willingness and enthusiasm of our volunteers.”