A Yorkshire creamery is hoping to win EU protection for its award-winning Wensleydale cheese by applying for PDO status.

Wensleydale Creamery, whose cheese was favoured by Wallace and Gromit, is fighting shy of trademarking the name altogether.

"We are not going for full PGI protection because we understand the position of other territorial makers," said MD David Hartley. "We just want to register the name Real Yorkshire Wensleydale. It comes from the region and we want to establish that as a point of difference so that the consumer can make an informed choice."

In fact, Hartley's is the only cheese still produced in Wensleydale on a commercial scale. The application, which has support from Defra, will try to show there is something special about the area, its milk and the way the creamery makes the cheese.

Retailers have been supportive, he added. "The multiples say it will add value and the independents are very enthusiastic."