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New ‘friendly’ initiative helps visitors cycle, walk, stargaze or enjoy nature in the North York Moors

Cycling on the old railway line above Farndale Credit Russell BurtonCycling on the old railway line above Farndale Credit Russell Burton

Visitors will find it easier to cycle, walk, stargaze or enjoy nature across the North York Moors thanks to a new National Park initiative that is forging a strong network of ‘friendly’ businesses with dedicated facilities and knowledge on specific activities.

For the last two years the North York Moors National Park has been working with a raft of businesses such as bed and breakfasts, cafes and shops that have each pledged to become cycling, walking, dark skies or nature-friendly.

Now more than 55 organisations have met the initiative’s criteria to display one or more of the four activity-friendly logos developed by the National Park so that visitors can easily plan their trip to include those places that offer facilities and services that meet their needs.  

The North York Moors has long been a magnet for cyclists with more than 2000km of bridleways and quiet moorland roads at their disposal which has led to dedicated cycle centres and bike hire places springing up across the National Park.

The difference now is that with 30 cycling-friendly businesses in place there’s a more joined-up approach enabling cyclists of all abilities to feel more confident about embarking on a trip across the area.

For instance they can now find out where there’s a café, shop or accommodation-provider on their route if they want to have a cyclist’s breakfast, securely lock their bike when they stop for a break, carry out a repair or wash their wheels at the end of the day.

Mike Hawtin, Outdoor Activity Tourism Officer for the National Park, who has been leading the initiative explains: “As well as showing how simply adding services such as a bike washing facility or supplying walking routes can make life easier for visitors, the initiative has created much stronger links between the businesses.

“Whereas before we might have had, for instance, a cycle hire place recommend a couple of B&Bs with storage or bike washing facilities, now each business is far more aware of what others are offering and can help signpost visitors as they travel around the National Park.

“The initiative really began with the Dark Skies Festival which has subsequently led to a number of venues such as The Farmhouse at Goathland or Cober Hill at Cloughton offering visitors equipment, including binoculars, deckchairs, warm blankets or stargazing guides, when they come to them.”

Currently 30 businesses are displaying the cycling-friendly logo; 26 are walking-friendly; 14 have become dark-skies friendly and 11 are nature-friendly. Each are included on dedicated maps on the North York Moors National Park’s website such as: www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/cyclingfriendly

ENDS

Notes to editors:

This initiative is part of Destination Partnerships Moors and Dales, a partnership project running until 31 August 2019 to boost rural tourism across the four protected landscapes within North Yorkshire.

EU logo

This project is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

The four protected partnerships are the North York Moors National Park. Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


North York Moors National Park

The National Park is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, spectacular coast, ancient woodland, dark skies and historic sites. It was created on 28 November 1952 and became Britain’s sixth national park. The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire. Nearly 14% of its staff being apprentices from local families. For more information go to www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to stunning scenery, wonderful wildlife and a rich heritage. As well as being ideal for those who want to enjoy the outdoors, the National Park offers a wealth of attractions for visitors – from great food and places to eat, castles, abbeys and quirky museums, and opportunities to learn new skills. It is one of 15 National Parks in the UK and is administered by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Nidderdale AONB

Nidderdale AONB covers 603 sq km (233 sq miles) from Great Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales through to the edge of the Vale of York in the East. The fascinating geology of the area which has created a gorge and eye-catching rock formations, together with the tranquil expanses of water, open heather moorland, rolling pastures and scenic villages are among the special qualities of the AONB.

Howardian Hills AONB

Howardian Hills AONB covers 204 sq km (79 sq miles) of North Yorkshire countryside, nestled between the North York Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds and the Vale of York. It is a captivating landscape with its well-wooded rolling countryside, patchwork of arable and pasture fields, tranquil villages and historic country houses with classic parkland landscapes.

For further information and images please contact Amanda Brown at A2BPR on:
T: 01423 740048
M: 07876 452580
E: amanda@a2bpr.co.uk

Or Nina Beadle, Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority:
T: 01439 772700
E: press@northyorkmoors.org.uk