Marking out the Yorkshire Nature Triangle

Credit: cUKi

In part two of the series, Helen explains how nature tourism in East Yorkshire came to be triangular...

Picture Yorkshire’s wild side and scenes of the Yorkshire Dales and Moors might initially spring to mind. Or perhaps your mind wanders to the sweeping sands and charming villages of the North Yorkshire coast.

Our goal was to put East Yorkshire on this mental map. We wanted to bring all the region’s 30 nature reserves (manged by multiple organisations) together to establish an unrivalled wildlife watching destination.

We started to map out this area. From the northern tip at Flamborough down to Spurn Point, then inland across the Wolds, a ‘triangle’ shape emerged. We realised we could use this triangle as a tool to market the whole region. The Yorkshire Nature Triangle was created!

Yorkshire nature triangle wildlife map

With European LEADER funding between 2010 and 2013, we were able to:

  • launch a pilot project
  • learn from international case studies
  • understand the value of nature tourism to the local economy at that time (£9 million annually) – and its potential for growth through an investment programme (£29million)

This was a really exciting time and an opportunity for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to talk to local businesses, tourism companies and local authorities. We were able to demonstrate that wildlife and nature tourism would have value for everyone.

The initial pilot phase provided a blueprint for building the ‘triangle’ over the next 10 years.  We were also able to establish a baseline from which we could measure our impact.

Being at the helm, we were able to advise how such developments could benefit both people and wildlife. An international nature tourism conference hosted in Bridlington helped to set the scene. Over 100 businesses received training and advice through workshops and visits to local reserves.

The marketing machine began to whir and the potential for nature tourism growth created a real buzz! Along with project partners RSPB, Yorkshire Water and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, we were ready to build the Yorkshire Nature Triangle and cement it on the map!