From daffs to bats, Park’s protection aims

submitted pic - from JP North archive, view of Farndale and daffodils. Photographer unknown

submitted pic - from JP North archive, view of Farndale and daffodils. Photographer unknown

Improving habitats for wildlife and restoring ancient woodland sites have been highlighted as two of the priorities in the North York Moors National Park in a new five-year biodiversity action plan.

The park’s Head of Natural Environment, Simon Wightman, said the blueprint is made up of a number of plans for habitats and species, including farmland, bats, freshwater pearl mussels, lowland wetland, juniper trees, rare butterflies, rivers and streams, grassland, water voles, crayfish, and wild daffodils.

He said work carried out or continuing under the previous plan included the Park’s Esk freshwater pearl mussel and salmon recovery project which benefitted river habitats, focusing on rivers, lowland wetland and water voles, the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly population, and rare arable flowers.

But, added Mr Wightman, one of the main constraints has been difficulties in getting financial help.

The park-led scheme also involves the local authorities of Ryedale, Scarborough and Hambleton and the Tees Valley Nature Partnership.

Mr Wightman said the farmland issues in the plan involved cornfield flower protection, giving advice on farmland birds, encouraging farmers to set up margins around their field perimeters, increasing hedgerows, and monitoring moorland wader birds.

More than 100 targets have been listed in the action plan which runs until 2017.

Providing habitats for water voles is also included in the action plan, and to promote conservation interest of the voles to schools through the park’s education service. Farndale’s famous daffodils are also high on the list of species to be protected.

The project will see a strategic framework for nature conservation in the National Park developed which will contribute to the national biodiversity targets, said Mr Wightman.




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