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Dales Young Rangers search for birds and listen to their song at sunrise Freeholders’ Wood, Aysgarth

Young Rangers celebrate the Dawn Chorus

Saturday 11 September, 2021, by Alex Green

Everyone, once in their life, must get up early and listen to nature’s greatest symphony – and, this Spring, the Dales Young Rangers did just that.

The dawn chorus the collective chirping of birds singing in the morning, which peaks shortly before and after sunrise and is most noticeable during Spring. For this reason, International Dawn Chorus Day is celebrated worldwide every first Sunday in May.

Young Rangers using binoculars to spot birds in the woods, as the sky is still dark before sunrise
Dales Young Rangers enjoy the dawn chorus at Freeholders’ Wood, Aysgarth

An opportunity to experience this great event was a just reward for the early start, as Young Rangers made their way to Aysgarth for a walk in Freeholders’ Wood on a cold and crisp morning. Whether it was the promise of hot drinks and biscuits that enticed these enthusiastic early risers, or the chance to be a spectator of nature in all its glory, it was a close call as Rachael Addison (Young Rangers Officer) met the group at Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre for 7am.

Young Rangers stood on the path in the wood identifying birds with binoculars as conditions become lighter.
The Young Rangers identifying birds and birdsong

Along with keen birder and Wildlife Conservation Officer Ian Court the group made their way down to the woods, with binoculars at the ready and eyes and ears peeled. The performance did not disappoint; a cacophony of morning hustle and bustle was already in full swing as the group spent an enjoyable hour or two identifying a wide variety of species, from green woodpecker to goldfinch.

Share in the Young Rangers’ experience of a woodland symphony:

Want to find out more?

If you would like to come along to any of the Dales Young Rangers sessions, please get in touch via or 07815 970346. You can also follow the Dales Young Rangers on Facebook

The North and West Young Rangers groups are funded by BIG Lottery Fund through the Green Futures partnership programme led by charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. Green Futures aims to empower and support young people in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.

Green Futures is part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today – a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change.

The Young Rangers group based in the South of the National Park is being part-funded through Stories in Stone, an ambitious four-year programme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership. The scheme is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Picture of Alex Green

Alex Green

Alex is the Authority's Education and Engagement Support Officer and is responsible for administering the Dales Young Rangers programme.

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