2013-06-04  facebook twitter rss

New Website Showcases National Park’s Natural World

Specialist information on the flora and fauna found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is now available on a new website.

Called ‘Nature in the Dales’, it has been created for anyone interested in wildlife and wildlife conservation in the National Park from visitors and naturalists to professionals and students.

Calcareous grassland at Southerscales

Calcareous grassland at Southerscales

And it has already won the praise of TV presenter and environmental campaigner Prof David Bellamy.

Nature in the Dales is the website of the Yorkshire Dales Biodiversity Forum. It is hosted by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), which also funded the design work, and its content has been written and illustrated by a wide range of organisations and individuals – the very people who love this landscape.

The website – at www.natureinthedales.org.uk – showcases local information about 150 of the species and 14 of the habitats found in the special landscape of the National Park accompanied by 300 stunning images, many of them generously donated by local naturalists, landowners, visitors, academics and conservation professionals.

After exploring some of the hundreds of pages on the website, Prof Bellamy said: "What a fantastic window onto one of the most beautiful corners of Britain. The Yorkshire Dales is one of my favourite places – so I hope www.natureinthedales.org.uk will help many more people discover its treasures and understand its value."

The ‘Places to see wildlife’ pages are ideal for visitors and are a fantastic resource for tourism providers. Eighteen sites throughout the National Park are highlighted, providing site details such as grid references and OS maps, facilities and a description of species and habitats to look out for as well as downloads of self-guided walks, GPS files and MP3 audio trails and links.

For naturalists, the extensive species and habitat pages are a great place to find local information such as distribution, flowering times and conservation action in the National Park within a national context. There are also links to local naturalists groups and other key organisations as well as video clips, latest survey and research findings to download and opportunities for getting involved.

The projects pages are an ideal source of up to date wildlife conservation case studies for students. These pages include details of a range of exciting conservation projects currently taking place in the National Park, from the community-led to the landscape-scale and from survey and monitoring to habitat restoration and creation. They include why the project was needed, its aims, achievements to date and who is involved. The projects represent many organisations, farmers and voluntary groups working together with a common cause. They are illustrated with great images and there are downloads, related links and contact details in case you want to find out more.

For conservation professionals there are a number of sections on the website that will be a useful resource as a quick reference, for information about the Yorkshire Dales Biodiversity Forum or as an easy-to-remember place to download the current Local Biodiversity Action Plan documents which set out the conservation priorities for the Yorkshire Dales National Park area between 2011-2020.

Biodiversity Forum chair Deborah Millward said: “The quality of the work on the website is superb. The pictures are good and the write-ups of each species and habitat are fantastic.

“The website is an important piece of work. It shows how we are going to work with farmers and landowners to take forward conservation in the National Park, and it gives other people – residents and visitors – an opportunity to get involved.”

Authority Wildlife Conservation Officer Frances Graham said: “Thanks to our farmers and landowners, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to some of the finest wildlife in England, and there is a lot of good wildlife conservation work taking place on the ground to help it stay that way. However, we are often so busy working that we forget to let people know what we have – and what we are doing to try to protect it.

“Creating this website has been a mammoth collaborative effort with stunning results. In addition to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, 14 other organisations, a dozen local naturalists, academics and landowners have also generously provided articles on projects, habitats, details of places to see wildlife and beautiful images. If people are interested in wildlife in the Yorkshire Dales, I would encourage them to take a look – I think they will be inspired!”

Content contributors were:
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
National Trust
Natural England
Wharfedale Naturalists
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust
Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Cumbria Wildlife Trust
John Altringham, Leeds University
Yorkshire Dales Environment Network
Janet Simkin, British Lichen Society
Yorkshire Peat Partnership
Yorkshire Water
Woodland Trust
Botanical Society of the British Isles

Yorkshire dales

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