Coronavirus: latest updates

Our latest updates on coronavirus (Covid 19)

Update: access on our nature reserves

Friday 27 March

As you are now aware, we’ve made the difficult decision to discourage access to our nature reserves because of the Coronavirus (Covid19) pandemic. 

Where possible, we will be closing gates and facilities at our nature reserves. However, as they are natural spaces it is not always possible to secure them; particularly where there are public rights of way passing through and wildlife needs to travel safely across our boundaries.

If you live locally to a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve and are accessing it for your daily dose of outdoor time, then please do it with the utmost sensitivity and care, and adhere to current government guidelines around social distancing.

If you witness any vandalism or concerning behaviour during your visit, please report this to us immediately via info@ywt.org.uk. Please note that any necessary repairs and cleaning may not always be immediately possible as the majority of our staff are working from home to ensure social distancing.

Thank you and stay safe, Yorkshire. 

A message from our Chief Executive, Rachael Bice

Wednesday 25 March

To our valued members and supporters across Yorkshire and beyond...

In line with the latest government announcement about Coronavirus (Covid19) and the UK moving to lockdown measures, we have felt it necessary to close or restrict access to all Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves and visitor centres for the rest of March and all of April 2020. All of our events are cancelled until the end of July 2020 - if you have already booked on to an event, we will be in touch. We are also suspending the majority of our volunteering for the time-being, as we ask that most of our staff work from home to ensure they are socially distancing.

We have made the difficult decision to discourage access to our nature reserves in order to play our part in minimising social contact in the community, while also endeavouring to ensure minimal disturbance to our beloved wild places and wildlife - especially as we approach such an important time for breeding and flowering.

Where possible, we will be closing gates and facilities at our nature reserves. However, as they are natural spaces it is not always possible to fully secure them; particularly where there are public rights of way passing through. Therefore, we encourage all of our supporters to follow a ‘stay home and stay local’ approach until further notice. This will help us to keep everyone safer by minimising risks from the virus within our communities and to our staff, as well as to our sensitive and precious wildlife populations.

We know that many of you have beautiful photographs of our nature reserves and wildlife in springtime – please consider sharing these with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter instead, and help us to keep Yorkshire inspired. By keeping safe you will be helping wildlife and people to recover and, with your continued support, our wonderful nature reserves will be there to welcome us back in a few months.

Our sincere thanks for your continued support during such a difficult and unprecedented time. We cannot do what we do to support wildlife without you, and our thoughts go out to you and to your families. We hope that the blossoming signs of spring outside your windows might provide some respite from the worry and isolation.

We hope you will understand why we have taken such exceptional action - your feedback is important to us so if you have any questions or concerns please contact us via email: info@ywt.org.uk. We will continue to update this page with our response to this crisis but, until we have been given further government guidance, please do not travel to visit our nature reserves. If you live locally to a reserve and decide to access it via a right of way, then please do it with the utmost sensitivity and care.

Covid19 is a huge challenge to us all - together, we can come through this.

Rachael Bice

Chief Executive, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust