Forestry Investment – A leading Scarborough councillor has rejected suggestions that the famous heather moorland in the North York Moors National Park should be abandoned in favour of forestry and crops.
Councillor David Jeffels, a member of the park authority and Scarborough Council’s cabinet member for tourism, said heather was vital to tourism in the borough. He was responding to a suggestion by Hawnby Parish Council that in view of the decline in the moorland sheep industry and the rising demand for food in the world, it may be time to allow and encourage the return of forestry to the historic moors.
The Council argued that trees absorbed carbon monoxide and it would help the environment if more were planted.
Coun Jeffels, however, said it made more sense to support upland farmers with incentives to put more of the traditional blackfaced sheep flocks back on to the moors because they safeguarded the heather and were in themselves an attraction to visitors.
Of the heather, Coun Jeffels said: “It is part of our heritage and our attraction as a holiday area. The heather is unique and must be protected – without it the moors will lose their appearance significantly.”
The heather has become synonymous with the national park, after featuring in television programmes such as Heartbeat and attracting many tourists to the area.