A new collective vision for the North York Moors National Park has been launched, including bigger and better wildlife habitats, a flourishing net zero carbon economy and thriving local communities.
Over the last two years, the National Park Authority has gathered opinions and feedback from many hundreds of sources, including government bodies, local businesses, charities, residents and community groups. The result, set out in the new Management Plan for the North York Moors, is a shared vision containing six ‘ambitious but deliverable’ outcomes underpinned by 24 specific objectives that will be delivered over the coming years.
Alongside commitments to climate and nature, and the expansion of superfast broadband and mobile phone coverage, there are also ambitions to position the North York Moors as the premier family cycling destination in the north of England.
Patrick James, who chaired the Management Plan Working Group and is a Member of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said:
“Our vision is one of resilience. A National Park at the forefront of addressing climate change and nature recovery, as well as a place that can help lift and promote the nation’s health and wellbeing. This Plan is ambitious; it sets out specific targets for the likes of water quality, soil improvement and woodland creation, as well as a drive to build at least 100 affordable new homes in the National Park by 2027.
“Throughout this process we’ve sought to involve local communities and stakeholders as well as regional and national partners, and we will continue to strengthen these working relationships to ensure the Plan is delivered.
“Achieving the right balance in a place as special as the North York Moors is not straightforward. The challenges are considerable and complex, but solutions can be found through collaboration and innovation.”
Organisations and partners from across the region gathered at Danby Lodge National Park Centre recently to mark the launch, including the unveiling of a wooden sculpture in the Centre’s grounds. Based on a painting by artist Paul Green, the carving depicts a human figure merging into the roots of a tree.
Sally-Anne Smith, Curator of the Inspired by… gallery at Danby Lodge National Park Centre, said:
“The ‘Back to our Roots’ sculpture is symbolic of humankind’s connection to nature, a relationship which each of us must address at a personal level if we are to tackle global challenges such as the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. The Management Plan, too, looks to reignite these connections with nature and the environment. We cannot expect people to care about and protect something they have not had the opportunity to experience or develop an affinity for.
“The sculpture will not be preserved in its current state, but allowed to slowly decay within its natural surroundings; likely seeing it become a home for mosses, fungi and many species of invertebrates.”
It is a landmark year for the North York Moors as it reaches the 70th anniversary of its designation as a National Park on 28 November. The Management Plan too marks the start of a significant new chapter, officially addressing subjects such as climate change, mental health, connecting with underserved communities and changing land-use for the first time.
Danby Lodge National Park Centre is open daily between 10am and 5pm. For more information about the 70th anniversary or other events and activities in the North York Moors National Park, please visit northyorkmoors.org.uk/70years. The new Management Plan for the North York Moors can be read in full at