AMBITIOUS plans to protect the "fragile" environment in one of the most beautiful parts of North Yorkshire have been announced.

The proposals have been published in a strategy document: "The Wensleydale Project – Yore Past, Ure Future."

The project’s aims include work to improve soils and support sustainable farming in the area, creating more space for nature and reducing pollution in the watercourses.

The Wensleydale Project covers an area of 506 km2, stretching 26 miles from Lunds Fell in the west to Kilgram Bridge in the east, where water is abstracted from the Ure for treatment and supplied back to the Upper Dales as drinking water.

Behind it lies a partnership of organisations, businesses, individuals and groups, brought together by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust.

Local naturalist, Deborah Millward, came up with the idea and said: “Everybody knows of Wensleydale, but few people are aware that its landscape and rivers are in a fragile state.

“This strategy document is based on an extensive review of data, as well as on what was said at local public meetings.

“It sets out the problems, as well as the community-led actions needed to solve them. It’s vital work.

“So many people – residents and visitors – love Wensleydale for its beauty and tranquility.”

There is no single pot of money for The Wensleydale Project. Instead, funds are being raised separately for each of the 22 actions in the strategy.