Hearts are being formed in AONBs across the country during Landscape for Life Week (21-29 September).
Over 30 tractors will create the shape of a heart in a field next to Trapping Hill in Lofthouse in Nidderdale AONB on 28th September (from 12 noon).
People in all the 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are forming hearts to show how much they love their landscapes.
The hearts mark Landscape for Life week (21-29 September), which aims to help people to reconnect with nature by enjoying and being inspired by the UK’s AONBs.
Nidderdale AONB which covers half the Harrogate District is taking part in the celebration with 30 tractors being assembled in the shape of a heart at Trapping Hill in Lofthouse.
Stephen Ramsden, the farmer coordinating the tractors, said: “As farmers, the land of course is always close to our hearts. We need to show love for our beautiful Nidderdale AONB and it’s a chance to celebrate everyone who works so hard to conserve nature and work the land. The nation needs to show a bit of love to our farmers too, Brexit has provided a lot of uncertainty and anxiety.”
Nidderdale AONB is an area of 233 square miles located on the eastern flanks of the Yorkshire Pennines stretching from the high moorland of Great Whernside south and east towards the edge of the Vale of York.
The tractor heart formation will take place on Saturday 28 September at 12pm to welcome the UCI World Road Championships as the Elite Women’s Race takes place in Nidderdale. Trapping Hill is one of the most unrelenting climbs on offer in Nidderdale, with stunning views down the valley.
Stephen said: “We wanted to use Landscape for Life Week to give a warm welcome to the global cycling athletes and visitors to Nidderdale. As the world follows the race, it’s a chance to throw the media spotlight on our beautiful Dale.”
The heart shape represents not only the love for these special landscapes but AONBs and National Parks were originally thought of as the ‘Natural Health Service’.
2019 marks 60 years of AONBs. Legislation to create the protected landscapes was agreed in 1949 – the same year as the National Health Service. The two acts were seen as complimentary; preventing and curing illness.
2019 also marks the 25th anniversary of Nidderdale AONB. It was formally recognised by Government in 1994, when it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Nidderdale Show at Pateley Bridge showground also takes place during Landscapes for Life week on Monday 23 September. The show celebrates the finest agricultural traditions with top class livestock and horse and dog selections.
From Cornwall up to the North Pennines, volunteers, residents and visitors will be forming hearts in AONBs, either using their own bodies at mass gatherings or using objects in the landscape.
The UCI World Road Championships takes place between 21 and 29 September across Nidderdale and Yorkshire, with an expected global audience in excess of 225 million across 150 countries.
Sarah Kettlewell, Manager of Nidderdale AONB, said: “Landscape for Life Week is a great initiative to celebrate our landscapes of national importance. There has been countless research stating time outdoors and in nature boosts our health and well-being. It’s also about inspiring people to fall in love with our landscape. If we care for it, we’re more likely to protect it, and the health of our landscape and natural world is directly co-related to our own.”
Stephen added: “A survey by the Wildlife Trust found two-thirds of adults felt that they have lost touch with nature, and I believe that very much includes losing touch with our countryside and our farmers.”
Sarah added: “Nidderdale AONB actively works to conserve and enhance the landscape, its nature and wildlife working in harmony with farmers and landowners, rural businesses and tourism. After 60 years of AONBs, we hope Nidderdale will be treasured by generations of people as it truly is our Natural Health Service.”