It's all thanks to you

It's all thanks to you

Water vole © Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

Your unwavering support during the pandemic has helped us to achieve incredible things for wildlife and wild places.

In a world where nature often feels like an afterthought, your support has helped us to bring it front and centre.

You help us to breathe life into degraded landscapes and protect irreplaceable wild spaces. Because of you, people all across Yorkshire can begin to discover our incredible wildlife for the very first time.

During every magical wildlife moment, from swirling starling murmurations to the hopeful chirps of a chick born despite the odds, we feel you there with us. Your support makes it all possible.

Nature is our closest ally in a resilient recovery from the pandemic and as we face the ongoing climate crisis. We don't need to tell you how important it is - for people, for society and for our planet.

As we enter our 75th year, here are our highlights from a year like no other - we couldn't do it without you.

You're bringing nature back

Nature is facing an uphill struggle at the moment, but you're ensuring wildlife can recover.

For the first time in 30 years, little ringed plover fledged two chicks at Bolton-on-Swale nature reserve. A barn owl swoops across the horizon every dusk at Stirley, a reminder that farming landscapes can be thriving homes for wildlife. At our newest nature reserve, Ripon City Wetlands (which opened in 2019), marsh harriers have attempted to nest for the first time. We hope they'll return with success in the future! 

Your support is having a much wider impact, too. In order to help individual species thrive, we need to protect entire landscapes.

And this year, you helped us to achieve just that. The Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire received a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation, with determination, cooperation and the will to win, one of the most degraded landscapes in Europe has been transformed into a wildlife haven.

And as we celebrate the success of the Dearne Valley, we embark upon a new journey with Wild Ingleborough - an exciting flagship nature restoration project in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Your support, alongside generous funding, will help us to showcase an alternative future for our uplands - a wilder, greener, more diverse future.

You're combatting the climate emergency

With the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report earlier this year, it is increasingly clear that action is urgently needed to tackle the climate crisis and drastically reduce carbon emissions. Many of the solutions we're seeking are already found in nature. Restoring our vital carbon-capturing habitats like peatlands and seagrass meadows will help us to absorb carbon from the atmosphere and hugely benefit our incredible wildlife.

Your support means we're able to restore thousands of hectares of degraded peatlands and plan to restore thousands more.

It means we're able to work on innovative new techniques, which will help to pave the way for restoration in the future. Our marine team have been working tirelessly to determine the optimal conditions for planting seagrass meadows - their first trial of thousands of seeds have been planted. From tiny seeds of hope, flowing meadows of seagrass will grow - we estimate they will store 1.7 tonnes of carbon every year. 

It means we've been able to reintroduce oysters to the Humber for the first time in 50 years - these incredible 'ecosystem engineers' will filter water and encourage other plants and wildlife to grow. To our surprise, they've grown and established far more quickly than we expected. Because of you, oysters are thriving in the Humber once again.

You're inspiring people to take action

And finally, your support is helping others discover and take steps to protect wildlife all across Yorkshire.

The ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic meant we focussed on creating virtual resources, festivals and events, like our Great Yorkshire Creature Count and online Puffin Festival. These in turn have helped all sorts of people to discover and take action for our amazing Yorkshire wildlife.

For example, Sophie and Theo read about the plight of puffins in our Puffin Protector Pack and were so concerned that they wrote to their MP, as well as talking to their school friends and even appearing on Look North!

We hope they inspired others to attend one of our Waves of Waste beach cleans, which are tackling the problem of marine pollution head-on. In the last five months alone, our volunteers have picked up over 100 bags of litter from our beaches, removing them and their harmful impact from the sea forever.

As schools returned, you supported our Nature Friendly Schools team to create amazing wildlife areas in school playgrounds, and deliver training to help children connect with nature. They're inspiring a new generation of wildlife lovers, who will continue our vital work long into the future.

We love inspiring people about nature. But we couldn't do that without you. Your support is the pebble that causes ripples of change across Yorkshire.

All that we've achieved...

... is because of your generous support. We are so grateful for every effort, every penny and every moment that you give in support of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. You are making a real difference for Yorkshire's wildlife.

Thank you.