Have a seat to admire 25 years of beauty

Picture shows ' the installation of the first of 25 natural oak log benches for the Howardian Hills AONB near Castle Howard, with JAC Chairman Cllr Clare Wood and AONB Manager Paul Jackson (both seated); NYCC Area Ranger Andrew Hall and NYCC Countryside Volunteers Chris Williams (left) and Roger Merchant (kneeling).
Picture shows ' the installation of the first of 25 natural oak log benches for the Howardian Hills AONB near Castle Howard, with JAC Chairman Cllr Clare Wood and AONB Manager Paul Jackson (both seated); NYCC Area Ranger Andrew Hall and NYCC Countryside Volunteers Chris Williams (left) and Roger Merchant (kneeling).

Twenty five log benches are being installed among the Howardian Hill to mark the silver jubilee of the area receiving Outstanding Natural Beauty status.

The Joint Advisory Committee, which manages the designated Area of Natural Beauty, is asking local people to join in the celebrations by suggesting suitable locations for the benches.

These may be special places where there is a spectacular view, or quiet places where people can just pause for a while and contemplate.

Helping to install the first log bench near Castle Howard, Committee chairman Cllr Clare Wood said: “The Howardian Hills are much loved by both local people and visitors, and they have some truly spectacular viewpoints.

“We wanted to mark the anniversary of the Area of Natural Beauty designation in an appropriate but low-key way.

“The simplicity of the natural oak logs, which have been sourced from woodland in the area as part of normal woodland management work, will hopefully be appreciated by all.”

Most of the seats will be installed during the spring and summer next year, and will be spread throughout the 16 mile west-to-east length of the area.

The Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers a total area of 204 square kilometres, (75 square miles), stretching from Helmsley to Malton, Howsham to Husthwaite.

It was designated in 1987 and is one of 47 Areas of Natural Beautys in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, set up under the same legislation that created the National Parks

The landscape is characterised by extensive woodland, rolling agricultural fields, large country houses and designed parklands.

The purposes of designation are to conserve and enhance natural beauty, whilst taking into account the needs of local rural industries and communities.

The Joint Advisory Committee’s work covers nature conservation, historic environment, landscape, community development and recreation.

As well as giving advice and assistance to farmers, land managers and community groups, it also provides grant aid and carries out work directly.

Examples of work funded by the Committee include hedge restoration, wall repairs, habitat management, and management of ancient monuments.