Volunteers wanted to monitor Dales wildlife

A Small Pearlbordered Fritillary on Swarth Moor in Ribblesdale.

Volunteers are being sought to help carry out vital surveys of birds, butterflies and plants in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in spring and early summer.

People are being asked to commit two or three days of their time each survey season over the coming years.  Full training will be given.

Anyone with an interest in the environment – perhaps students, local families, existing Dales Volunteers or natural history groups – are invited to come forward.

Potential volunteers can contact the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Wildlife Conservation team by email:  wildlifeconservation@yorkshiredales.org.uk

“Volunteers are right at the heart of our conservation work,” said Ian Court, wildlife officer at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

“We want to give people the skills, confidence and opportunities to help the natural world.  The more people that get involved the better.  There are opportunities right across the National Park, so we will look to match people with the sites nearest to where they live.”

In summary, volunteers are needed for the following areas of work:


  • Wading Birds:   people who can identify the common upland breeding waders like Curlew and Lapwing are needed to help with assessments, which will be used to support agri-environment scheme applications.
  • Butterflies:   people are needed to assist with counts of the Northern Brown Argus and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
  • Plants:   people are needed to assist with surveys of priority plant species.
  • Habitat surveys: people are needed to undertake general plant surveys that will be used to support the delivery of agri-environment schemes and the Plantlife National Plant Monitoring Scheme.

Ian Court added:  “Here is a chance to get up close to wildlife and do something positive by helping to monitor some of the really important bird, butterfly and plant populations in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

“We cannot continue to conserve and enhance wildlife unless we know how the populations of these species are faring.

“Monitoring data will help us carry out and support targeted conservation management for the benefit of these species.”

For more information on the rich wildlife in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, visit our Nature In The Dales website:  http://www.natureinthedales.org.uk/