New plan to boost North York Moors

PLANS have been unveiled to boost visitor numbers to the North York Moors by an extra million as well as to cope with extra sheep and crops and plant more trees during the next five years.

A draft management plan, which is now undergoing public consultation, says these aims could be accommodated within the national park without harming its special qualities.

But the management plan also acknowledges there are “clear limits” because more food production, for example, could cause damage if done in the wrong way and more visitors need to come at the right time and by the right means.

Since the last management plan was written in 2004 the challenges facing the national park have intensified, such as the need to produce more food, move to sustainable energy, reduce carbon emissions and reverse the loss of wildlife.

It has also been drawn up against a background of cuts in Government funding from £5.1 million to £4.3 million by 2014-15.

Six full-time and six-part-time jobs are being cut and services will also have to be reduced.

Andy Wilson, the authority’s chief executive, said: “This plan breaks new ground by considering what the park could produce.

“Our assessment is positive but not open ended.

“The authority would not want to sacrifice the tranquillity and beauty of the moors, which have given solace for thousands of years, for short term gain.”