WITH HELMSLEY being so popular as one of Yorkshire's top tourist spots, it's vital to keep it clean and smart so the Town Council has appointed its own caretaker.

John Teasdale, a local farmer, is now to be seen ensuring the beauty spot is looking its best for visitors, as well as caring for the local cemetery, play ground equipment and fencing.

"It's a great job, meeting lots of people and making sure Helmsley is always spotlessly tidy and clean because we do attract so many people," said John, who has spent a lifetime farming in the area. He spends several hours a week carrying out a range of tidying-up schemes in the town.

Coun Chris Parkin, chairman of the Town Council, said the scheme had been jointly funded by the council and the North York Moors National Park. "John has proved a great asset to Helmsley because it is important that we keep the town looking spic-and-span. In the past we have had used contractors to do the various jobs but we felt it was more economical to employ our own caretaker and John is doing a great job."