MORE information is needed before the Yorkshire Wolds can be named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been asked to submit further information to Natural England in support of a bid for AONB status for the Wolds.

The council believes that parts of the Wolds may be worthy of statutory designation and informed Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment, of this in July 2013.

Following a lengthy period of deliberation, Natural England, as part of its evaluation process, has asked the council to supply additional supporting evidence.

Cllr Symon Fraser, cabinet portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said: “The council is continuing to explore, on Natural England’s instruction, the potential to pursue AONB designation for the Yorkshire Wolds.

“It is important to highlight that central to this application being progressed is a clear demonstration of how this landscape designation could contribute to our economy and how the ongoing resourcing of the AONB can achieved in a self-financing way. This means local communities and other people benefitting from the AONB will need to consider how they would contribute.”

If successful, the process to formal designation would likely take several years to achieve and could lead to a Public Inquiry. As part of the process, the council would also seek to consult all the interested parties in the area, including local farmers, landowners, residents and the tourism industry.

AONBs are nationally important landscapes of such outstanding natural beauty that they are given the same level of statutory protection from inappropriate development as applies in National Parks. They are designated by Natural England, who also advises on policies to protect them.

There are existing AONBs covering the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale in North Yorkshire.