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Snipe Snipe - Credit: Whitfield Benson YDNPA

Breeding Waders in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

The meadows, moorland and moorland fringe habitats within the Yorkshire Dales National Park are home to nationally important numbers of breeding wader species.  A number of these species are undergoing significant population declines in both the UK and elsewhere in Europe.  The Curlew is one of these species under threat and is now listed as globally near-threatened.  As the UK holds nearly 30% of the European breeding population, upland areas such as the Yorkshire Dales are becoming increasingly important for this enigmatic species.

The YDNPA are working with a number of key stakeholders to develop initiatives that will help to protect breeding waders in the National Park and elsewhere in the Northern Upland chain Local Nature Partnership area.  In the summer of 2017 an innovative pilot project which trialled methods for involving gamekeepers and farmers in monitoring breeding waders was undertaken in Wensleydale.  The British Trust for Ornithology, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Bolton Castle Estate staff worked together on the project which involved wader nests being monitored with temperature data loggers and trail cameras to monitor nesting success. Gamekeepers and farmers also carried out wader surveys using methods designed to fit around their work schedules.

The YDNPA have also been working with British Trust for Ornithology to undertake a review of existing data and to assess different monitoring options for assessing the status of breeding wader populations in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  A copy of the most recent report can be found here.

Monitoring Breeding Waders in Wensleydale: trialling surveys carried out by farmers and gamekeepers. The report can be accessed here.

Contact: Ian Court, Wildlife Conservation Officer 01756 751602