The scrutiny review of the Ilkley Moor Sporting Rights Deed has turned up some interesting findings, and ideas which could well be of benefit to the many who use, enjoy and care for the moor.

As well as the concerns raised by organisations such as the Friends of Ilkley Moor about management techniques and friction between shoots and other users of the moor, there has been some real concern that a heavy-handed approach by Bradford Council at this stage could result in vital funds for the care of the moor being lost.

One possible outcome of the review is a closer look at the Higher Level Stewardship Agreement with Natural England, which would clarify the exact relationship between shooting rights and the agreement itself. The agreement has brought a significant injection of cash to the moor. An update of the Ilkley Moor Management Plan may be something to be welcomed, if Bradford councillors do press ahead with it.

This will hopefully take into account the condition of the moor as it continues to recover from the devastating fire of 2006 – but also look directly at the needs of all moor users, study how they can all be accommodated, and balanced with the biodiversity of the landscape.

New developments such as the EU ban on the herbicide Asulam, which has been temporarily re-licensed for use this year, will also need to be taken into account. Given the looming budget cuts expected in local authorities, the updated management plan will also need to keep a close eye on the money available for the future of the moor.

If good plans are laid at this stage, there is less likely to be a shortfall in future for the care of this celebrated landscape.

George's medal very much deserved

Those of us who did not live through the Second World War can barely conceive of the privations of getting by on the home front, with rationing, bombing and the threat of invasion, let alone the ordeals gone through by troops fighting in Europe and beyond.

George Goodyear’s experiences in the war are perhaps even more astonishing than most. Now 90, Ilkley man George undertook six perilous convoys taking vital supplies to Russia between 1942 and 1944 – the first when he was just 19 years old. He survived his boats being torpedoed and hit by shrapnel, and even served aboard a vessel which carried Winston Churchill back to England after a wartime conference across the Atlantic.

Mr Goodyear has now quite rightly been awarded his Arctic Convoy Star medal, a new honour created by the Government after a long campaign by veterans. The most surprising thing is that it has taken so long. In these days when people are feted as celebrities for doing very little – sometimes nothing at all – we must not forget that we owe our freedom to the selfless acts of Mr Goodyear and thousands like him. A medal is the very least he deserves.