The Yorkshire Wolds – the inspirattion behind many of artist David Hockney’s paintings – could soon be recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has approached Natural England and begun the long process to secure the designation and, if successful, councillors hope it will bring more tourists into the Wolds and boost the area’s popularity.
Symon Fraser is portfolio holder for the environment on East Riding council. He paid tribute to the hard work of people who live, work, and farm in the Wolds and have shaped its distinctive landscape.
He said they wanted AONB designation to improve the Wolds for everyone, not to stand in the way of progress.
It could take years to see the process through to a successful end, and Natural England has now asked for more information on why the Wolds landscape deserves recognition, and a map of the area to be designated.
The news has been welcomed by anti-wind-farm campaigners who hope AONB status will protect the Wolds from unwanted development.
Steve Hey, chairman of the No To Wolds Wind Farm group, said: “This is a massive step forward for a beautiful area.”
He said David Hockney’s works had “taken this landscape to the world”, and it should be protected.
The sites depicted in David Hockney’s works – including the famous “Bigger Trees Near Warter” – could all become part of the AONB once the council and Natural England have decided which parts of the Wolds to recognise.
Where North Yorkshire has the Moors and the Dales national parks, the East Riding had no area designated for public enjoyment, he said.
“We hope it will make decision-makers think long and hard about what is being done. It’s not all about wind farms, but stopping the industrialisation of a great landscape.”
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