Park looking to create more wildlife corridors

A number of key priorities have been highlighted in the North York Moors National Park’s business plan for the next two years.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 9:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:53 am
The park is hitting its targets.

The creation of wildlife corridors, restoration of historic woodlands, and increasing the number of volunteers by 5,000 days a year by 2021 top the list of the park’s aims.

Chief Executive Andy Wilson said that of the 54 objectives some 35 have either been achieved or made substantial progress.

He said the authority is set to exceed its target of winning £6million in external income to help achieve its objectives.

Some 132 potential wildlife corridors have been identified. In addition planting hedges, tree planting, riverside fencing and grassland management is being carried out to create the corridors while work is underway on some 200 hectares of ancient woodland.

Priority is also being given to rights of way and making them easy to use for disabled people.

The park, which has just been named as the National Park of the Year by viewers of the BBC Countryfile programme, is to work with landowners and farmers on “practical solutions” as a result of Brexit and national policy changes.

Mr Wilson said: “Various strands of work are being pursued at a time of deep uncertainty in relation to policy changes that could have major impacts on the National Park.”

He said the authority aims to inspire more young people to understand and experience the moors by making some 18,000 contacts with them through the education service.

The park has exceeded its target of making 80% of rights of way easy to use with latest figures showing that 99% have been acclaimed by users as being satisfaction.

One aim, said Mr Wilson, is to minimise conflicts between recreational use and land management, conservation and other users.

He said joint action was being taken with the police to tackle illegal off-road driving, and working with farmers at lambing time and in times of high fire risk.

More on-site interpretation boards are being erected for visitors to the park and the authority is working with some 600 tourism businesses and organisation to support promotional activities.

The park received 63 grants through the EU LEADER scheme which has now been extended to March next year.