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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Fire-ravaged moor's fate decided
Firefighters tackle Ilkley Moor blaze
Hundreds of acres of heather and bilberry were lost in the fire
Ilkley Moor will continue to be managed and restored by Bradford Council following this summer's fires which destroyed 500 acres of moorland.

The council chose to retain ownership of the land rather than hand it over to the National Trust or another charity.

The moorland's recovery will be funded through the sale of Silverwells cottage - a vacant building on the moor which is owned by the council.

July's fires are thought to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.

'National treasure'

Bradford Council's executive was asked to decide whether the authority could afford to continue maintaining the moor.

Anne Hawkesworth, the council's executive member for the environment, said she was pleased with the decision.

She said: "Ilkley Moor is a national treasure and there has understandably been a lot of public concern about the management of it.

"The council has had limited resources to fund restoration and improvements works to the moor, and to finance the recovery it needs following the fire."

But she said the sale of Silverwells Cottage would give the council the money it needed to pay for necessary works and attract further funding.

"I want to see both national and local involvement in the recovery of this iconic site."


SEE ALSO
Moor destroyed by massive blaze
01 Aug 06 |  West Yorkshire

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