Wolds tourism drive may degrade the area

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From: D Harrop, Malton Street, Sheffield.

AS David Hockney has become enamoured of the Yorkshire Wolds area of the East Riding in very recent years and of the particular characteristics of the Wolds, his decision to engage with Welcome to Yorkshire to develop a tourism industry in the region will surely come as a surprise to many admirers of the Wolds, and of Hockney.

There are antithetical objectives in play, as expressed by Simon Bristow (Yorkshire Post, March 5): “The tourism potential of the unspoilt Wolds is only just being realised.”

How much tourism potential requires to be realised before the character and the uniqueness of the Wolds begins to degrade? The calmness and tranquillity of a traditional farming countryside, unpenetrated by the highly developed tourism industry we see in many parts of the Peak District, for example, where saturation point was surely reached long since will inevitably suffer the same consequences.

Tourist attractions, after all, are those laid on to draw tourists to a region, as distinct from being locally developed to cater for the needs of the local population. The Wolds, which consist entirely of prime agricultural land, are now seen as being ripe for development, as providing opportunities for investment for business enterprise.

In a free market economy, there is nothing that cannot be sacrificed to creeping commercialisation, the apologists for which are already vociferous.

The battle for the Wolds is on.