Skip to main content
Practical day with Eshton Grange RSPB Curlew group

Parish Wildlife Project

What was the Parish Wildlife Project?

The majority of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is privately owned by farmers and landowners with considerable land holdings. Therefore actions to benefit habitats and species tend to come through Environmental Stewardship-type schemes. These schemes are administered by various organisations and generally have little direct involvement with communities. The Parish Wildlife Project (PWP) ran from 2009 to 2022 and was intended to assist communities in identifying how they could contribute to the conservation of habitats and species within their local areas.

Cowgill Orchard Project
Cowgill Orchard Project

What were the PWP’s aims?

The aim was to deliver incremental biodiversity gain through interested and enthused local communities. The project encouraged and supported local people, interested individuals and groups in identifying, developing and managing local wildlife projects within the National Park. Across the National Park local community groups are developing and managing habitats, generally on a small scale, and taking a hands-on approach to biodiversity issues on their doorstep.

What has the PWP achieved?

The project worked with over 50 groups across the National Park since 2009, facilitating the restoration and creation of hundreds of metres of hedgerows, species rich grassland creation and management, scrub planting, woodland management, bird and bat box provision, the creation and management of ponds and wetlands and artificial otter holt creation.

Cowgill Orchard Project
Cutting hay – Cowgill Orchard Project

Who was involved in the PWP?

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority developed and managed the project with staff from across the organisation involved in providing advice and guidance to the groups. Groups involved were mainly made up of interested local people coming together to develop and manage a project but they also included small and large charities and churches. A wide range of people got involved including school and youth organisations, local people from all walks of life, farmers with small areas of land, volunteer bureaus and wildlife groups.