A SCHEME to restore ancient woodlands in the North York Moors National Park will see the return of an array of wild flowers.

The North York Moors National Park Authority is aiming to increase the number of bluebells, primroses, wood anemones and wild daffodils in a drive to preserve the historic native tree habitats, which are richer in wildlife than conifer forests.

The park contains the highest concentration of areas which have been covered by trees for at least 400 years or sites that have been replanted in the north of England.

But only half is made up of native trees and shrubs, as much has been replanted with conifers, under which fewer invertebrates such as beetles and moths live due to less sunlight penetrating the tree canopy.

The park’s director of conservation, Peter Barfoot, said the park was keen to talk to landowners about woodland management and grants options.

He said: “The importance of conifer woodland for timber production and recreation is well recognised.

“In many cases improvements can be achieved through management of existing trees and the development of suitable mixes of species, even including some conifers.”