Concerns family tributes may be spoiling a Bronte Country beauty spot will lead to a ban on benches there – and the creation of a new memorial garden in Haworth.

Penistone Hill, a council-run park above Haworth, has become a popular spot for people to place benches and plants in memory of departed loved ones.

But with the number of memorials steadily increasing, there are fears the beauty spot could become cluttered with furniture, and that alien plant species could harm the delicate moorland.

To counter the problem, Bradford Council is teaming up with the Friends of Haworth Park to create an alternative memorial garden.

Work is due to begin this year, and the council will ban any new benches at the country park, directing families instead to the memorial garden.

Penistone Hill is on the walk between Haworth and Top Withens, the landscape that inspired Wuthering Heights and that is seen by thousands of tourists each year.

Local ward councillors have donated £2,000 to the scheme, which will be created at the park entrance in Bridgehouse Lane. It will include benches, memorial plaques, flowerbeds and trees.

Phil Barker, assistant director for leisure services, said: “A number of memorials to deceased family and friends have appeared at Penistone Hill Country Park.

“Often these are in the form of trees, shrubs and flowers, and on occasion we don’t even know that they have been planted as memorials, which can cause distress if they have to be removed for land management or ecological reasons.

“While we acknowledge some people do like to mark their loved ones’ favourite places in this way, we want to make sure we preserve the natural beauty of the country park for future generations to enjoy.”

Worth valley councillor, Glen Miller, said: “There had been complaints about benches popping up there. I didn’t think it was a problem until some of the plants people had put there started to take over the local plants. It seems to have been more prolific lately.

“It’s a sensitive issue because it is a memory of someone who has passed away, so whatever is done has to be done sympathetically.”

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