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)

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.

Hackfall Wood, Masham

Which ingredients make for the perfect family walk? I would imagine that whatever they are, you’ll be able to tick them off at Hackfall Wood. It’s one of our favourite places to explore with children, complete with follies, beautiful woodland, a beach (!) and plenty of woodland magic. What’s more, you’ve even got a lovely pub to walk to at Grewelthorpe. Perfect.

Read about our first time to Hackfall Wood here, when we enjoyed a beautiful sunny spring day. We love days out enjoying Yorkshire’s beautiful landscapes, and love walking! If you want to discover some of the places that we’ve found on our travels, have a look at the Muddy Boots Mummy website or follow my Facebook page.