The Rivers Nidd, Skell and Washburn tumble through some of the most charismatic landscapes in the Yorkshire Dales and provide a home for an array of wonderful wildlife. This area is the focus of The Wild Watch – a new Yorkshire Wildlife Trust project.

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty recently received a grant of £295,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for The Wild Watch. This visionary new project will involve people running a health check on the wildlife of this important area. It aims to check the ‘health’ of 50 different plants and animals that call Nidderdale home.

Much of Britain’s wildlife has been either lost, or is under threat, for various reasons, including land use and changing climate. The decline of some species is well documented and concerned organisations are taking action to try and reverse the trend. But sometimes, plants and animals start to decline and we only notice when it is too late.

“Many people love Nidderdale for its inspiring landscape and wonderful wildlife”, said Alice Crosby, Wild Watch Project Officer. “But all is not well and we want to take action to help some of the declining species recover. To know where to target our efforts we need help from naturalists, local enthusiasts and residents, so we can build up a picture of what wildlife we have and where it is, a kind of nature audit.”

Alice is planning a series of workshops and events throughout the year to inspire people about Nidderdale’s wildlife and to train people to help with the surveys. “We have had a lot of supportive comments from local naturalists which is a great start”, she said. “I feel that The Wild Watch offers a fantastic opportunity for other people, who have perhaps not done anything like this before but love the area, to get involved too.”



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