Yorkshire Wolds proposed for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status by Natural England

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

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 8:11 am
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 9:23 am
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.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.
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.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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Paul Duncan, Area Director for Natural England said: “The Yorkshire Wolds is a tranquil landscape of rolling hills, valleys and open plateaux interspersed with ancient woodland, chalk streams, farm holdings and historic villages, extending north from the River Humber.

“The announcement that the Yorkshire Wolds may become one of our newest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is fantastic news for Yorkshire and North East England.

“If successful the Yorkshire Wolds would join the Nidderdale and Howardian Hills AONB in celebrating, protecting and enhancing Yorkshire’s beautiful landscape, helping to bring nature and people closer together’

The Wolds is known for steep sided dry dales, high but gentle escarpments, dramatic coastal cliffs, and open, rolling plateaus.

Cllr Jonathan Owen, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Representing a large part of the East Riding encompassing the Yorkshire Wolds, I am proud to support the area being considered for such an outstanding designation. “We are blessed with a range of fabulous natural assets from the Wolds to the coast which attracts millions of visitors each year and it is fantastic to see the area, with its outstanding aesthetic beauty, considered for such a significant status.”

The proposals follow the independent review led by Julian Glover which called for action to make our protected landscapes greener, more beautiful and open to everyone. Natural England welcomed the Review which set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, biodiverse and accessible National Parks and AONBs.

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed the news.

Sir Greg said: “I am delighted with this announcement which now progresses the campaign to its final stage. It is clear to anyone living in, or visiting our region, that the Yorkshire Wolds and the surrounding area is outstandingly beautiful and this announcement is entirely appropriate, if overdue.

“The Yorkshire Wolds boast numerous characteristics which are of particular significance, including clear chalk streams, special geological features, and unspoiled landscapes which have inspired artists such as David Hockney.

“The designation will protect the local natural environment and bring a boost to our tourism. It means present and future generations will be able to appreciate and enjoy the natural beauty of our East Yorkshire countryside for all time.”

“AONB status will give the local authority a duty to manage the area to preserve its beauty and gives greater powers to restrict unwelcome developments.”

Councillors Chad Chadwick (Bridlington North) and Leo Hammond and Mike Stathers (Wolds Weighton) have been taking the lead along with other organisations, such as the Flambourgh Residents Association, in supporting ERYC Officers in their bid to secure the prestigious status.

Cllr Hammond said: “This is fantastic news! The Wolds are a key part of our natural and cultural heritage in East Yorkshire, and it is absolutely vital we protect them for future generations.

“AONB status will massively help to do that by protecting this precious area from both the wrong type and overdevelopment.’

“It is now important for local residents to rally round and support this initiative, so that we can pass the consultation stage and fully secure AONB status. Knowing how proud my residents in Wolds Weighton are of our home, I am confident this will happen and the Wolds will become England’s 35th ANOB.”

Cllr Mike Stathers said: “The Wolds have always been a hidden gem of UK tourism and this news will certainly help to promote the area to a much wider audience as a true holiday destination. The world of travel has changed due to the pandemic with more people choosing staycations over foreign trips and we know many small Wolds-based holiday businesses are geared up for what we hope will be a boom period.”

Cllr Chadwick said: “I sincerely hope,that given the AONB status, the Area will benefit both Residents and Tourists, who travel to the area, because of the natural beauty and attractions. It has been many years, and a great deal of work to get to this stage, and hopefully, it will receive the support in the consultation process, that it so richly deserves.”Responding to the proposal, the Country Land and Business Association’s director north Dorothy Fairburn said: “We are behind Government’s aims and ambitions to protect and enhance the natural environment and the biodiversity that underpins it. Farmers and landowners in the Yorkshire Wolds are responsible for creating the wonderful landscape we now see.

“But the lack of detail raises more questions than answers on how these ambitions will be achieved. Our main concern is how the Government’s commitment to designate additional protected landscapes will be taken forward. This should not be to randomly satisfy a target, but done for the right reasons to protect our finest landscapes.”

Business Association’s director north Dorothy Fairburn said: “We are behind Government’s aims and ambitions to protect and enhance the natural environment and the biodiversity that underpins it. Farmers and landowners in the Yorkshire Wolds are responsible for creating the wonderful landscape we now see.

“But the lack of detail raises more questions than answers on how these ambitions will be achieved. Our main concern is how the Government’s commitment to designate additional protected landscapes will be taken forward. This should not be to randomly satisfy a target, but done for the right reasons to protect our finest landscapes.”