Letter: Put historic site at heart of new forest

Further to the article (January 11) on the new Northern Forest promotion and planting of 50 million much needed trees across the north of England. Historically might the Royal Forest of Knaresborough (RFK) be promoted as the jewel in the crown of the White Rose Community Forest and as a central attraction of the Northern Forest from Liverpool to Hull?

Sunday, 21st January 2018, 12:00 pm
Knaresborough Castle

The Woodland Trust are already involved in the Nidd Gorge woodland at the eastern extent of the RFK at Knaresborough.

Yorkshire Water, owning quite a bit of the western part of the historic RFK, might be encouraged to participate.

The famous Bettys of Harrogate and Taylors’ Tea are in the centre of the RFK at Harrogate and are very committed to tree planting, especially abroad.

The RFK has many historic features that might be promoted to attract people to the White Rose Community Forest area: Knaresborough Castle and also Spofforth, Allerton, Ripley, Harewood and John of Gaunt’s castle, Bilton, Haya and Haverah Parks, Almscliff Crag, Harrogate Stray and numerous reservoirs.

Might the RFK be promoted within the Northern Forest on the lines of other historic parks such as Rockingham and Dalby Forests and the way they are developed and promoted as major attractions?

Recent local interest in the RFK has been developing with several publications and designations: 2017 - The Metes and Bounds of Knaresborough Forest by Jim Brophy and Mark Haley. 2013 - History and Hikes of the ancient Royal hunting -Forest of Knaresborough by Mike Brough. 2009 - The Boundary Stones of Knaresborough Forest by Cyril Mason and John Webster, compiled by Christopher Butterfield. c1995 designation of the Nidderdale area of outstanding beauty (AONB) and planting of trees. c1990 Woodland Trust acquire the Nidd Gorge woodland.

I wonder if NYCC, HBC and KTC, along with the Duchy of Lancaster and Yorkshire Water, might work together to develop the historic Knaresborough Forest in the centre of the new Northern Forest and the White Rose Community Forest.

David Rhodes