Raising moors profile

Catriona McLees during a visit to Whitby Abbey on Saturday

Catriona McLees during a visit to Whitby Abbey on Saturday

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The North York Moors has appointed a new head of promotion and tourism as an attempt to strengthen the national park’s worldwide reputation.

Catriona McLees has taken up the newly-created role to raise the profile of the national park and encourage more people to visit and enjoy its special qualities.

“The North York Moors is a beautiful place,” said Ms McLees.

“The variety of landscape and cultural heritage is unlike almost anywhere else I’ve been, but it’s something of a hidden gem.

“I know there is a wealth of pride felt by those who live and work in and around the national park and with the 60th anniversary and an exciting new exhibition soon to be unveiled at Sutton Bank National Park Centre, there is plenty to shout about.

“I’m really looking forward to discovering more about the area and helping to put it firmly on the map.”

Ms McLees was previously sustainable tourism manager at Welcome to Yorkshire, where she was responsible for encouraging businesses and visitors to take more action in the field of sustainable tourism.

She also led several marketing campaigns including the Turner Trail and Yorkshire’s Great Outdoors.

Prior to this she managed a four year project for the Peak District National Park Authority that worked with local businesses to develop new products and services which made use of the area’s environmental assets.

At the national park authority Ms McLees will be working to strengthen partnerships with organisations such as Welcome to Yorkshire, local tourism associations and local authorities to maximise publicity for the North York Moors.

She will also be tasked with promoting the authority’s two visitor centres and supporting the events and exhibitions co-ordinator to develop innovative and exciting programmes to reach new audiences.

Director of park services Richard Gunton said: “Anyone who has visited the North York Moors knows what a special place it is and it is certainly much-loved by those of us fortunate to live and work here.

“I’m delighted that Catriona is on board to help us raise awareness of the national park and its surrounding area, to increase people’s understanding of our heritage, wildlife, environment and all the ways to get out and experience them, and to support the tourism business upon which so many rely.”