Harrogate volunteer says 'rewilding' can begin at home as new report shows Yorkshire wildlife is under threat

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Harrogate volunteer is highlighting the importance of rewilding as an alarming new report shows Yorkshire is losing the species that make it special.

Dr Jenny Marks, who worked in Nature Conservation for years, both for the Wildlife Trusts and as an ecological consultant, is a member of the volunteer-led Yorkshire Rewilding Network.

In the week which has seen the publication of the first ever region-wide State of Yorkshire’s Nature report, she said it’s never been more important for everyone to give nature a chance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Letting it thrive, naturally, it turns out is good for wildlife and good for people.

“Rewilding encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature so that we thrive together”  - The volunteer-led Yorkshire Rewilding Network which has members in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)“Rewilding encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature so that we thrive together”  - The volunteer-led Yorkshire Rewilding Network which has members in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)
“Rewilding encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature so that we thrive together” - The volunteer-led Yorkshire Rewilding Network which has members in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)

“Rewilding encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature so that we thrive together,” she said,

“Strong ecosystems provide us with food security, help us to reduce flood risk and be more resilient to drought and wildfires.

“But being out in nature is also beneficial for people both physically and mentally, and nature-rich spaces can bring communities together."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Analysing data and information on Yorkshire’s wildlife, the State of Yorkshire’s Nature report gives an insight into how nature in the county is faring – and, crucially where action is now needed to create healthier, resilient and more abundant landscapes.

It concludes we are losing the species that make Yorkshire special – including curlews and swifts – and action is needed now to restore a richer biodiversity and reverse nature's decline before it is too late.

Earlier this week saw the Yorkshire Rewilding Network receive a £12,000 boost from Rewilding Britain’s Rewilding Innovation Fund.

Nationally, the latter initiative has helped fund 44 rewilding initiatives across Britain’s land and sea, from community-driven to technology-focused projects.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Dr Marks says rewilding is something anyone can do – and it can even begin at home.

"Rewilding can happen in a range of different locations," she said.

“It can be delivered by both large land owners and by people who have control over small areas of land and, crucially, is a more natural method of managing the land."

For anyone in Harrogate who would like to see pragmatic garden rewilding in action, Dr Marks has the answer.

Come to her garden this weekend in Harrogate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The address on Pannal Ash Road is taking part in a series of Rewilding in Action: YRN Summer Site Visits 2024.

Taking place on Sunday, June 9 from 10.30am to 11.30am, visitors will be given the chance to see pragmatic garden rewilding that balances giving space for nature with family life.

This town garden, enjoyed by two young children, is planted with nature in mind with plenty of wild areas.

Children are welcome at the event but dogs should be on a lead, please.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tea/coffee/biscuits/juice will be on offer for a voluntary contribution.

Dr Marks is also keen to hear from other people interested in rewilding in the Harrogate area.

She said: "We’d love to connect together people with an interest in rewilding in Harrogate, forming a local network who can share experience and knowledge."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We have a programme of summer site visits at rewilding sites around the county."

To get in touch, email [email protected]

For information to the challenges facing nature in Yorkshire, visit: https://www.ywt.org.uk/StateofNature

Related topics: