Yorkshire Wolds Dew Pond Wander: a journey through time

Credit: Dew pond- F Grace EM

Dew ponds – sometimes called cloud ponds or mist ponds – are man-made ponds which were created in the 18th and 19th centuries to provide water for farm animals. In the dry, chalk landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds, a natural supply of surface water was not always available, so the ponds were an essential source of water for the animals.

Despite their magical name, it’s thought that the water in the ponds came mainly from rainfall, rather than dew, clouds or mist. For almost 200 years, farmers relied on these ponds to provide water for livestock, so the ponds were regularly maintained as an essential part of the farm.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has worked with the local farming community on a two-year project to restore a network of these ponds right across the Wolds. They’re once again an important feature in the landscape and an oasis for an array of wildlife such as emperor dragonflies, great diving beetles, frogs, toads and newts. They are also an important source of water for farmland birds, which have declined rapidly in recent years, as well as mammals such as deer and hare.

You can discover several of these dew ponds along a beautiful circular trail in the Wolds, starting from the picturesque village of Thixendale. So why not pull on your boots, explore the stunning landscape for yourself and take advantage of the wildlife highlights along the route?

Take a look here – https://www.ywt.org.uk/wolds-dew-ponds/walk

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.

To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

• Observe the latest government guidance on social distancing
• Follow any signage on our nature reserves
• Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead
• Take your litter home with you

Step out and take strides for Yorkshire’s wildlife, one piece of litter at a time

Credit: Jon Hawkins, two volunteers litter picking.

Taking a walk in the countryside, by the sea or down the road to the local park is something we might have taken for granted until last year. We all admire the beautiful scenery, landscapes and local wildlife on a much-loved walk, but how much do we consider the hard work that might be taking place in the background to keep it safe for wildlife and people? It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoying Yorkshire’s wild places over the eighteen months but it’s been sad to witness so much litter quickly building up in these spots too. Wherever litter is dropped, it can find its way into our watercourses and then into our already suffering seas.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is working hard to tackle the problem of marine pollution. In our latest blog, Marine Pollution Officer, Ana Cowie, tasks us with a litter picking challenge in our local patch, wherever that may be. Our small actions can make a big difference. So if you’re walking round the block or heading to the coast, picking up litter as you wander can lead to a step change for public behaviour and Yorkshire’s wildlife.

Visit our latest blog here: https://www.ywt.org.uk/blog/ana/step-out-and-take-strides-yorkshires-wildlife-one-piece-litter-time

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.

To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

• Observe the latest government guidance on social distancing.
• Follow any signage on our nature reserves.
• Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead.
• Take your litter home with you.

Give Seas a Chance

Yorkshire’s seas were once full of wildlife but due to decades of human neglect and harm, they are falling silent and empty. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s expert marine team are working against the clock to save, restore and enhance our beautiful, essential seas and incredible wildlife. We’ve got the solutions. We just need you. Help us turn the tide and give Yorkshire’s seas a chance.

Donate and take action today: Give Seas a Chance | Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (ywt.org.uk)

A journey to Yorkshire’s Land’s End: Walking at Spurn National Nature Reserve

Credit: Spurn lighthouse James Hardisty

Yorkshire’s beautiful landscapes have so much to offer, particularly those off the beaten track – or those at the county’s extreme edges. A walk through these wild places provides invigorating exercise for the heart, body and mind.

Spurn National Nature Reserve (or ‘Spurn Point’, as it’s known to many), is one of these iconic landscapes. It’s a natural wonder and fine example of a longshore drift, straight from a geography textbook, whereby over thousands of years, sand and gravel have been eroded from the coast and moved south by the tides. Today, Spurn is a sandy peninsula jutting out 3.5 miles from the Holderness Coast into the mouth of the Humber Estuary. Cars could once travel all the way down this sandy strip, but after a major storm surge in 2013, this journey can only be made by foot, bike or aboard Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Spurn Safari vehicle.  

In this blog post, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust share their top tips for walking at Spurn. Not only is it one of Yorkshire’s most wildlife-rich landscapes (and one of the best places in the UK to see migratory birds), but the peninsula is also steeped in maritime and military history. You can, in fact, climb to the top of the tallest lighthouse in Northern England or explore excavated World War Two tunnels (see our website for opening times). Follow in the footsteps of brave soldiers, lifeboat heroes and wildlife conservationists as you discover this unique and ever-changing place.

Visit here to find out more: https://www.ywt.org.uk/blog/andy-mason/walking-spurns-very-own-lands-end

Why not join us for a 10km guided walk to Spurn Point and back again on Sunday 18th July, 10am – 2pm?

Join our expert guide for an epic journey to Spurn Point and back again! May tales of Spurn’s maritime and military past enlighten your way, as well as some top wildlife spotting tips. You’ll also receive a special certificate to celebrate your achievement!

Please visit our events page here for more information and to book your place!

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.

To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

Follow the latest government guidance on social distancing
Follow any signage on site
Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead.
Take your litter home, as it’s harder for us to empty bins regularly.

Count wildlife as you count your steps!

Credit: Mother and daughter walking through park, UK – Ben Hall2020VISION
Here at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, we’re gearing up for the Great Yorkshire Creature Count (Saturday 19th June – Sunday 20th June 2021).  We’re on a mission to discover how many different wildlife species we can collectively record in 24 hours, and are challenging folk in every corner of Yorkshire to record what they can see from their own doorsteps.

Whether that’s looking and listening out of a window, peering into and under pots and window boxes, exploring the nooks and crannies of a terraced yard, or scouring a leafy garden – we want to know what you see and where you see it!

You can complete your challenge on a local walk too. As you pop to the shop, stretch your legs around the block or take your four-legged friend for a walk, our blog features top tips on how and where to spot as much wildlife as you can from your front door.

Make your next walk count for wildlife as well as your heart, body and mind. Read our blog here: https://www.ywt.org.uk/blog/yorkshire-wildlife-trust/step-out-your-front-door-and-count-creatures-great-and-small

Join in our ‘wild Yorkshire census’ and get counting!

Sign up to the challenge today, receive instructions for taking part and get more creature counting tips here: https://www.ywt.org.uk/great-yorkshire-creature-count

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.

To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

Follow the latest government guidance on social distancing
Follow any signage on site
Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead.
Take your litter home, as it’s harder for us to empty bins regularly.

Discovering Yorkshire’s Seabird City

A walk along the cliff tops at Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve

Credit: George Stoyle

Did you know that Yorkshire’s Flamborough Headland is one of the best places in the country to see puffins from the land? With the site only six miles from Bridlington, come and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Yorkshire’s bustling seabird city!

During the late spring and early summer, tens of thousands of seabirds return to Flamborough’s 100ft-high chalk cliffs to rear their chicks on the precarious ledges. To help you enjoy this seasonal highlight, Brian Lavelle, one of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape Managers, has shared some of his top tips for exploring the cliffs in his blog.

As part of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Yorkshire Puffin Festival (29th – 31st May 2021), our wildlife experts have created a bundle of guides, factsheets and family-friendly itineraries to help you plan your action-packed trip to the cliffs! You can also experience Yorkshire’s seabird city remotely, through a fun-filled programme of online events for all the family. Guest speakers include BAFTA award-winning Springwatch producer and naturalist Stephen Moss and one of the directors of BBC’s Spy in the Wild television series, Rob Pilley. There’s even an online breakfast club for young puffin fans: featuring our mascot, Cliff, this will get your days off to a wild start! You’ll also find a competition, quizzes and more…


For more details, visit Yorkshire Puffin Festival | Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (ywt.org.uk)
Yorkshire Puffin Festival is proudly supported and funded by Yorkshire Coast BID businesses.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.

To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

Follow latest government guidance on social distancing
-Follow any signage on site
Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead. Dogs on a lead are welcome at Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve.
Take your litter home, as it’s harder for us to empty bins regularly.

Dog walkers: Top tips for keeping wildlife safe

Credit: Ben Hall/2020VISION

We have some top tips for keeping you, our wildlife and livestock safe this season as we explore more of Yorkshire’s finest landscapes with our dogs. Wildlife is at its most vulnerable at the moment and iconic birds like curlew, skylark and lapwing are nesting on the ground among the heather and long grass. Even the most good-natured dog can disturb nests inadvertently and young lambs can also be vulnerable.

Visit our blog to find out how you, as a responsible dog owner, can help us keep wildlife safe throughout the year:

https://www.ywt.org.uk/blog/yorkshire-wildlife-trust/dog-walkers-please-help-our-ground-nesting-birds-spring

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places. To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

Minimise travel– please reduce non-essential journeys or combine trips where possible.

Keep a 2-metre distance from all other visitors and staff at all times.

Follow any signage on site, and don’t use any bird hides during lockdown.

Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead.

Take your litter home, as it’s harder for us to empty bins regularly.

Thank you.

Walking, Wellbeing and Wildlife

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Bluebells (c) Josh Raper

Whether you’re taking a quick walk around the block or stretching your legs a little further, wildlife is never too far away to give us a natural boost. We just have to take notice!

Connecting with nature, wherever you are, offers a distraction from our busy lives and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. From looking for different colours, patterns and shapes to listening out for rustling leaves or tuneful birdsong, Kat Woolley, one of our Inspiring People Officers, shares her top tips for invigorating your senses in this step-by-step guide: www.ywt.org.uk/blog/kat-woolley/walking-wellbeing-and-wildlife

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.