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The Yorkshire Dales National Park has significant areas of 17 different habitats and over 100 different species that are UK priorities and have been facing national declines. The many pressures on land which lead to habitat decline and loss have resulted in much of the British Isles becoming highly fragmented which makes wildlife even more vulnerable. National Park status helps to protect wildlife and habitats from some of these pressures.

As a result the Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of the least fragmented areas in England. This is an invaluable natural asset in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as having a social and economic benefit. However, the National Park is a constantly changing environment and it is important that wildlife protection is a key consideration during change.

Vision for 2040

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan contains seven objectives we intend to achieve over the next five to ten years to make progress towards our vision that by 2040 the Yorkshire Dales National Park will be:

Home to the finest variety of wildlife in England

Management Plan objectives:

C1 - Support farmers and landowners to restore and manage landscape-scale mosaics of priority habitats so that:

a) all the blanket bog in nationally and internationally important wildlife sites is ‘recovering’, and 50% of the other land in such sites has reached ‘favourable’ condition by 2024

b) 30% of the priority habitats outside nationally-designated wildlife sites are in good condition by 2024;

c) at least one landscape-scale ‘nature recovery area’ has been created by 2021.

C2 - Work with farmers and landowners to achieve and maintain stable or increasing populations for 90% of priority species by 2026, including the UK ‘red-listed’ upland birds — Black Grouse; Curlew; Hen Harrier; Lapwing; Merlin; Skylark; and Yellow Wagtail — for which the National Park is renowned, and those of international importance.

C3 - Work with farmers and landowners to improve the condition of the Aire, Eden, Lune, Ribble, Swale, Ure and Wharfe so that at least 90% of all rivers achieve ‘good ecological status’ by 2027.

C4 - Work with farmers in Wensleydale to demonstrate the benefit of ‘high nature value', low-input farm systems through a 5-year trial of a 'payment by results' approach to agri-environment funding.

C5 - Work with moorland managers and other key stakeholders to devise and implement a local approach to end illegal persecution of raptors, including independent and scientifically robust monitoring, and co-ordinated Hen Harrier nest and winter roost site protection.

See what's been achieved

Nature in the Dales

Visit our Nature in the Dales website to find out more about the priority species and habitats that we are looking after.


Follow this link to find fascinating facts about the priority habitats in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.


There are over 150 species found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Following this link to find out about them.


Interested in birds? Find out about the 29 bird species found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Parish Wildlife Project

Find out more about the Parish Wildlife Project

Natural beauty

The hugely varied landscape, numerous dramatic features and beautiful views