Yorkshire wildlife at risk, says new report

Dr Rob Stoneman, CEO of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
Dr Rob Stoneman, CEO of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

A new report from a coalition of more than 50 leading wildlife and research organisations has called for action after it was revealed that one in 10 UK species are threatened with extinction.

The report reveals that over half (56%) of UK species studied have declined since 1970.

A curlew is shown in flight.

A curlew is shown in flight.

The survey also said one in 10 (1,199 species) of the nearly 8000 species assessed in the UK are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

Species at risk in the Yorkshire area include the curlew and lapwing, along with a number of seabirds.

Rob Stoneman, CEO of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which manages the North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve, said: “We have been working hard to reverse the alarming decline of Yorkshire’s wildlife.

“We have an extremely passionate team of staff, volunteers and supporters who will continue to carry out vital work across the region, as this report clearly highlights the need for us all to work together to ensure that wildlife remains here and across the UK for generations to come.”

The lapwing, which is one of the birds highlighted by experts.

The lapwing, which is one of the birds highlighted by experts.

Helen Byron, RSPB area conservation manager for Yorkshire, said: “This report shows that while there have been some encouraging conservation successes in recent years, there’s still a huge job to do if we want to save nature in the UK.

“We are particularly concerned about much of our upland and coastal wildlife.

“Curlews and lapwings used to breed in abundance in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales but they’ve suffered huge declines in the past few decades.

“We should also have lots of hen harriers in these areas but none have bred in Yorkshire for years.

“Over on the coast at Filey, seabirds like puffins and kittiwakes are struggling and face further pressure from potentially harmful wind farm developments in the North Sea.

“The RSPB and other nature conservation organisations are working hard to halt the declines of these species but we can’t do it alone and need the Government to take urgent and decisive action to protect our precious wildlife.”

Mark Eaton, lead author on the report, said: “Never before have we known this much about the state of UK nature and the threats it is facing.

“Since the 2013, the partnership and many landowners have used this knowledge to underpin some amazing scientific and conservation work. But more is needed to put nature back where it belongs – we must continue to work to help restore our land and sea for wildlife.”

Meanwhile, a special guided walk will take place at North Cave Wetlands on Saturday 12 November between 10am and 1pm.

Visitors will have the chance to join a YWT reserve manager for a stroll around the reserve.

You will be able to discover the amazing variety of wildlife on the reserve and also look at the future extension of North Cave Wetlands.

The cost is £5 for a non-member and £3 for a member of the wildlife trust.

Visit www.ywt.org.uk/events to find out the trust’s full programme of events in the Yorkshire.