The Yorkshire Dales contains many different types of wildlife habitat, including moorland, hay meadows, woodland, limestone pavement and calcareous grassland. Some of these habitats are nationally or internationally rare and are prioritised for conservation. Because of this array of habitats, the Dales has wonderful potential for hosting a wide variety of species of wildlife.
Much of the Dales landscape is essentially human-made, and the biodiversity which flourishes has evolved alongside traditional farming activities.
Biodiversity is one of the reasons that the Dales is such a special place, providing opportunities for visitors and residents to observe and interact with the natural world. Such interaction is recognised as important for humans’ well-being and mental health.
High levels of biodiversity also bring other benefits, such as resilience against climate change and provision of reservoirs for species that may be important for agriculture. It is possible to extrapolate from these factors into economic benefits.
However, in recent decades there has been a huge global decline in biodiversity as a result of human activities. This has been echoed in the Dales, where significant losses of species and habitats have occurred: most of the traditional hay meadows have been lost as a result of intensification of farming; moorland biodiversity has been damaged through heather-burning, excessive drainage and the persecution of birds of prey; woodland has declined because of inadequate management; and upland grasslands have been degraded through over-grazing.
Part of the statutory purposes of a National Park is to conserve and enhance the wildlife of the area, and to address these challenges, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has put forward a plan to improve biodiversity in the Dales: Nature in the Dales – a 2020 Vision. The Plan recognises the significance of the habitats and species found in the Dales, and focuses on ways to maintain them and improve them. This co-ordinated approach involves working with farmers, land-owners and conservationists.
In recent times the concept of “re-wilding” has become current. But the promotion of increased biodiversity (through the protection and recovery of peat bogs, woodlands and species-rich grasslands) as well as reducing pollution and challenging current destructive practices, is a preferable approach.
What we will do:
* A campaign to increase biodiversity in roadside verges, through better verge management.
* Making comments on planning applications that may impact on biodiversity, and advocating planning conditions that may protect or enhance biodiversity.
* Promoting awareness of biodiversity to members of the public and visitors to the Dales (for example through guided botanical walks).
There are many ways to Support our Charity and be a Friend of the Dales, to help keep the Dales special and vibrant for years to come.
Join us as a member
Make a donation
Leave a gift in your will
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Help as a volunteer at our events
Our Business members are very valuable to us and we thank them all. For a list of all these businesses, or for more information on the benefits of business membership, click HERE
"it's more beautiful than you realise; the people are open and friendly and have time for you; your phone might not work which is a positive as you'll have more time - slow down and enjoy the silence".
Chair: Bruce McLeod
Canal Wharf, Eshton Road, Gargrave, BD23 3PN.
Charity number 515384.Company limited by guarantee number 1822908