Parish Wildlife Project

Why run the Parish Wildlife Project?

The majority of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is privately owned by farmers and landowners with considerable land holdings. Therefore actions to benefit habitats and species tend to come through Environmental Stewardship-type schemes. These schemes are administered by various organisations and generally have little direct involvement with communities. The Parish Wildlife Project (PWP) is intended to assist communities in identifying how they can contribute to the conservation of habitats and species within their local areas.

What are the PWP's aims?

The aim is to deliver incremental biodiversity gain through interested and enthused local communities. The project encourages and supports local people, interested individuals and groups in identifying, developing and managing local wildlife projects within the National Park. Across the National Park local community groups are developing and managing habitats, generally on a small scale, and taking a hands-on approach to biodiversity issues on their doorstep.

What has the PWP achieved so far?

The project has worked with over 30 groups across the National Park since 2009. More and more people are contacting us to discuss their ideas and we continue to make site visits, offer guidance and help to develop projects. Work to date has involved the restoration and creation of hundreds of metres of hedgerows, species rich grassland creation, restoration and management, scrub planting, woodland management, bird and bat box provision, the creation and management of ponds and wetlands and artificial otter hold creation.

Who is involved in the PWP?

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has developed and manages the project with staff from across the organisation being involved in providing advice and guidance to the groups. Groups involved are mainly made up of interested local people coming together to develop and manage a project but they also include small and large charities and churches. A wide range of people get involved including school and youth organisations, local people from all walks of life, farmers with small areas of land, volunteer bureaus and wildlife groups.

The unfolding of Grass Wood throughout the year is a story of rich fulfilment. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

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