NEWS JUST IN!!!! Yorkshire Wolds proposed for AONB

24th June 2021

The Yorkshire Wolds is to be considered for status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Natural England announced today.

Natural England has today (Thursday 24 June) announced proposals to protect important landscapes, they are considering making the Yorkshire Wolds and the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge new Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and considering making the Surrey Hills and the Chilterns AONBs bigger.

Securing this designation would allow the area to benefit from greater protections, so that more of England’s beautiful landscapes are safeguarded for future generations. AONBs have the same level of landscape protection in terms of planning policy as National Parks and their designations are hugely beneficial not just to the landscape itself, but the communities who reside an work in them and also for their rich biodiversity.

The Yorkshire Wolds forms an arc of high, gently rolling hills extending from the Humber Estuary west of Hull, to the North Sea coast at Flamborough Head, north of Bridlington. It is known for steep sided dry dales, high but gentle escarpments, dramatic coastal cliffs, and open, rolling plateaus. The area is predominantly agricultural, creating an open, rolling landscape. Habitats include ancient woodland, chalk streams and maritime cliffs and slopes, all providing a high quality wildlife resource.

Without doubt the Yorkshire Wolds in East Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire is a pretty special place. CPRE North Yorkshire, along with a number of other groups, charities and members of parliament; would like to see the Yorkshire Wolds recognised as part of the Government’s pledge to increase the number of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks in England laid out in the Glover Report. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of our most precious landscapes, which many people would expect to mean that they are safe from being built on. Even though these areas have the strongest protections available in planning law, they are in trouble due to an increasing amount of rapid and reckless housing development, according to new analysis from CPRE – Beauty still betrayed: The state of our AONBs 2021. The pandemic has raised the importance of mental health and wellbeing and people being able to connect with nature. The need to ensure these places are valued and protected is paramount now.

'The announcement that the Yorkshire Wolds may become one of our newest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is fantastic news and something CPRE has locally campaigned for repeatedly over many decades. We are delighted that this outstanding landscape may finally get the recognition it deserves!'
Jan Arger, Chairman of CPRE North Yorkshire

Today’s announcement also takes forward the recommendations of the major independent review – led by writer Julian Glover – into our protected landscapes. Natural England welcomed the Review which set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, biodiverse and accessible National Parks and AONBs. It warned that challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and a changing, urban society mean that new approaches are needed to get the most out of England’s most-loved landscapes.

If successful, the Yorkshire Wolds would join the Howardian Hills, Forest of Bowland and Nidderdale AONBs in celebrating, protecting and enhancing part of North Yorkshire’s beautiful landscape, helping to bring nature and people closer together.

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