YORKSHIRE has bucked the national trend for falling visitor numbers, the Great Britain Travel Survey has revealed. Gary Verity, boss of tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire, said despite poor weather the region saw a 16.3 per cent rise in visitors in the 12 months to August, partly due to innovative marketing. Spending rose by 13.5 per cent and the number of overnight stays rose by 11.5 per cent.

HEARING VIEWS: The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has extended the time for people to state their views at planning meetings. Committee chairman Harold Brown said the move would increase the total time for speakers from six to 20 minutes to increase democratic accountability and parish councils’ involvement.

HERITAGE DIG: Pupils at Queen Mary’s School, at Baldersby Park, near Thirsk, have launched a drive to unearth the 1,000-year history of their school site. The year-long project will include archaeological excavations and research into the home of 19th-century railway financier George Hudson, which was Britain’s first Palladian villa.

CLASSICAL SHOWS: Harrogate International Festivals 20th Sunday Series will feature pianists Kirill Gerstein and Louis Schwizgebel, The Gould Piano Trio, cellist Adrian Brendel and the Modigliani Quartet, in shows to be staged from January to April at the Old Swan Hotel’s ballroom. For details, call 01423-562303.