The Yorkshire Dales are an internationally important haven for wildlife. The valley floors and floodplains are known for their flower-rich hay meadows, that fill the Dales with colour, while the large tracts of upland peat soils soak up carbon and provide a haven for blanket bog species and wading birds.
Conservation is a wide-ranging activity covering the peatlands at the top of the catchment right down to the river valleys and the freshwater life that helps to make Dale's rivers special. Conservation can be species-specific or at a much larger habitat-scale where large tracts of peatland are restored or woodlands created. Managing the nature of the Dales requires close collaboration between conservation workers and land managers.
Over the coming years there will be changes in funding streams, both positive and negative, which means conservation effort will have to adapt. Closer collaboration with farmers and other land managers will be required. The new Tees-Swale Project may be a start along the path to a common future, but there are many uncertainties and difficulties to overcome.
Information on the Tees-Swale Project can be found at: