TWENTY two groups have bid so far for a share of money available from the Yorkshire Dales Sustainable Development Fund.

Launched last year by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, the idea was to challenge people to come up with ways of making ends meet in the countryside.

Of the ideas put forward so far, the eight to be submitted for final consideration include a project to promote visits to the Dales based around the hay meadows of the area; a composting initiative for a co-operative organic nursery; a dry-stone walling education and heritage centre; and a feasibility study to investigate the marketing of local produce nationwide.

The trust has also indicated it is willing to back two Youth Hostel Association projects - one providing community recycling facilities at nine hostels in the Dales national park, and the other to upgrade the hostel at Aysgarth.

The national park's conservation chief, Gary Smith, said: "This year, we have £110,000 to award and this is now almost fully committed.

"However, come April, we will have a further £200,000 to award, so we are still just as keen to receive new applications."

To receive an application pack, contact the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust on (015242) 51002.