A QUEST has been launched to find to find the people, living and dead, who most represent the culture, heritage and landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.

The National Park Authority wants to find the area’s greatest cultural icons - and the public are being invited to have their say.

The search is part of 60th anniversary celebrations of the passing of the Countryside Act which led to the creation of Britain’s national parks.

A nation-wide effort has been launched to name the key cultural figures, one living and one deceased, for each of the 14 parks, and in the Dales the public will have the final say.

The Dales authority has created a shortlist of four figures for each category and people can vote for their favourite.

Each was either born in the area, lived within its boundary or has otherwise been influenced by its landscape, people or cultural heritage.

Communications manager Kate Green said: "We created our shortlist for voting from suggestions from authority staff, many of whom live within the park.

"We decided upon the final eight names as they each represented a different element of what the National Park can offer from artistic endeavours to cultural heritage. It is now up to the public to decide our two ultimate icons."

In the deceased category they include Adam Sedgwick, one of the founders of modern geology; Alf Wight, better known as James Herriot; Arthur Raistrick, who helped to establish National Parks; and Marie Hartley, Dales historian.

Nominees who are still alive include satirist Alan Bennett; journalist and writer Bill Mitchell; artist David Hockney and green campaigner and comedian Mike Harding.

To make their choice from the nominees the public should visit www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/culturalicon. Voting will close at noon on September 4.

The winning icons will be announced on the same webpage on September 7.

*Across on the North York Moors the two icons from that area have already been chosen.

In the deceased category they have picked Captain James Cook, the Marton-born explorer, navigator and cartographer who died in 1779.

Their loving icon has been selected as Gillies-Jones of Rosedale, comprising of glassmakers and artists Stephen Gillies and Kate Jones.