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End of the road for North Yorkshire valley route

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A walker pauses to admire the view in spectacular Newtondale Valley

The Forestry Commission is working to restore the tranquillity of one of England’s most scenic valleys by closing a three mile stretch of woodland road through Newtondale Valley, near Pickering.

Access has been retained for residents and those using holiday homes in the remote North York Moors beauty spot, but general traffic will no longer be able to use Newtondale Forest Drive to the make the journey between the villages of Levisham and Stape.

The road was closed to the general public at the beginning of November 2011

Paul Cody, District Forester with the Forestry Commission, explained:

“We have consulted with local people and organisations and generally had a very positive reaction.  Newtondale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its geology and one of the North's most important woods for wildlife.  Over recent years we have managed it as a wilderness area and removing through traffic will further help restore the valley’s magical character.”

Paul Cody continued:

"Landslips have caused a great deal of damage to the road surface, which in sections is difficult to navigate.  Repair costs have become prohibitive, especially considering the area’s environmentally sensitive character.  The North York Moors steam railway runs through the valley bottom so there is good access for walkers wanting to get into the heart of the area.  Ramblers and riders will also be able to enjoy the peace and quiet without the roar of passing motor traffic.”

Note to Editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038