RSP Member - North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors National Park was designated in 1952 and is one of a family of 15 National Parks in the UK. The North York Moors comprises 1,436 of a rich variety of landscapes, habitats and buildings ranging from the largest expanse of unbroken heather moorland in England to spectacular coastline, historic villages and large areas of woodland and ancient woodlands and has the largest concentration of ancient and veteran trees in northern England. The coastline forms the most part of the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast. Its 22,997 residents contribute to the culture, communities, upkeep and evolution of the National Park. There are larger urban areas just outside of the National Park to the north and west in Teesside, Thirsk and Northallerton with the smaller towns of Whitby and Scarborough to the east and Helmsley to the south.

As a National Park the Authority has two statutory purposes which are at the heart of all that the Authority does, and these are:

  • To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area; and
  • To promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of its special quality by the public.

In pursuing these two purposes the Authority must seek to foster the social and economic wellbeing of its communities.

The Authority is the local planning authority for the National Park and has delegated powers from the County Council to manage the extensive Rights of Way network across the area.  Other services include a Ranger Service, sustainable tourism, education, interpretation, outreach, volunteering and natural and historic environment conservation. There are also two National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby Moors Centre which focus on outreach and education, working with schools and students from across North Yorkshire and Teesside to raise awareness of the statutory purposes and the special qualities of the North York Moors. The Authority also works with, and provides support and advice to land managers, users, businesses and communities to help look after and engage people with the special qualities of the area.

The Authority produces two key documents which guide working practices, new development and management of the National Park and these are:

  • The North York Moors Management Plan – the most important document for the National Park, it guides all our work for the future of the North York Moors as well as how other organisations and stakeholders will work together.
  • The North York Moors Local Plan – the document used to guide development in the National Park.

More information can be found on our website:


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