List of YWT Nature Reserves (A-Z)


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Getting Started

Credit Zsuzsanna Bird


A humbling awe over the intense colour explosion of the woodland floor as the frost subsides, a hidden tranquillity in the last reverberating bird song as dusk descends; simply an enthusiasm for nature is required to help expand our knowledge of Yorkshire’s wildlife.

The only way we can understand and show the decline of an iconic species, or the spread and expansion in range of an invasive one, is when local people record and inform us of what is happening in their area. Therefore this information is a huge influence to our present and future conservational management strategies.

Whether you decide to conduct self-led recording of your garden, local reserve or daily walk, or get hands on and involved in one of our ongoing monitoring programmes, your own opportunities for enjoyment, discovery of new environmental secrets, and understanding of local species are also greatly important.

The essentials for creating invaluable wildlife data


Credit Margaret HollandLinking the sightings to the individual who made them. The ability to be able to validate any record will increase its longevity and the future interest in it.

Second party confirmation will also go further to aid in this, especially for unusual and rare sightings or for species that are difficult to identify.




Credit Elliot NeepA confident identification of the species being recorded, if any degree of doubt exists it is better to leave it out. This does not mean an expertise is required however, more common and easier to discern species often go underreported as a result of greater attention and interest in rarer and exotic species. All information is important!

It is most helpful when the scientific name is included as well, as regional variations in common names are frequent.



Credit Harry HoggThe location of the observation is pertinent, the greater the accuracy the more useful the data. Site names whether they be YWT managed reserves or local green areas and gardens are important but these places can be vast in size and stretch many species’ territorial ranges. It is also necessary to link species observation with habitat type.

As a result noting the grid reference alongside the site name or address is extremely valuable.



Credit Phillip WelpdaleThis should be day, month and year. Firstly, the data is often used to look at change over time, therefore if we don’t know when the record was made, this is impossible to deduce. Secondly, some records are verified using the date, for example if someone records a hoverfly in mid-December it is likely to be a mistake, so it is important that the date the record was made is the date of observation and not when you first write it down.


The above information is most useful when sent as a spreadsheet in a tabular format (see below), however as long as the aforementioned information is recieved, be that via email, phone or post, it is gratefully received.


Common Name Scientific Name Date Site Name Grid Reference Recorder Reason for Recording
Eurasian bittern Botaurus stellaris 17/05/2013 Potteric Carr Nature Reserve SE 589 005 N E Body Formal Survey
Grass snake Natrix natrix 17/05/13 Potteric Carr Nature Reserve SE 589 005 N E Body Casual Observation