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 get 85% of the area covered by priority habitats into 'good condition' by 2016, and to get around 38% of Sites of Special Scientific Interest into 'favourable condition' by 2020, including all geological sites.
C2 Support farmers and landowners to increase the area of priority habitats, including creating at least 20 hectares of upland hay meadows by 2020.
C3 Support farmers and landowners to ensure that 50% of all ancient seminatural woodland is in good condition or being well managed by 2018.
C4 Work with farmers and landowners to achieve and then maintain good ecological status for at least 60% of rivers and 33% of water bodies by 2022 by reducing diffuse pollution, restoring adjacent habitats and improving fish stock and range.
C5 Establish baseline population estimates for all monitorable priority species by 2016, and set targets to get the population of these species stable or increasing.
C6 Work with parish councils, local community groups and landowners to increase from 20 to 45 the number of sites that are being managed for nature by local community or volunteer groups by 2018.
C7 Help landowners and other organisations to manage invasive, non-native species by establishing which can be effectively managed, and mapping their distribution by 2018.