Two of the nation's most respected charities have added their voices to the fight to save Nidd Gorge from a ‘relief’ road as part of North Yorkshire County Council's current public consultation over possible traffic congestion Rachel Christy.
The Woodland Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust champion the cause of woods, trees and wildlife across the UK and the Yorkshire region, and they are appealing to a combined membership of 542,000 and the wider public, to stand up for ancient woodland and Nidd Gorge by filling in North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) Harrogate congestion survey and saying no to a ‘relief’ road.
A spokesperson for the Woodland Trust said: “Nidd Gorge is highly valued. Building a new road is not a sustainable solution when there are other options that will not result in the loss of irreplaceable habitats.
"The ‘relief’ road would destroy areas of precious ancient woodland and part of the Trust’s Bilton Beck woodland, which forms part of the wider Nidd Gorge landscape.”
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The charity also paid tribute to the Harrogate district community volunteers, who have worked hard over years to plant tens of thousands of trees to create new areas of woodland.
These also face being lost and provide essential habitats as well as adding to the all-round beauty of Nidd Gorge.
Echoing the sentiments of The Woodland Trust, a spokesperson for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said: “North Yorkshire County Council want to know your opinion about whether they should build a ‘relief’ road or instead improve buses, cyclist and pedestrian facilities.
"For us it’s a no-brainer. The ‘relief’ road would cut across ancient woodland, destroying rare and special natural areas and would certainly have a negative effect on local wildlife.
"Spending the money on better public transport is better for wildlife, better for people – just better overall!”
Thousands of Woodland Trust members and non-members enjoy visiting Nidd Gorge free every year.