Wild Ingleborough is a visionary landscape-scale project showcasing an ‘alternative future’ for Yorkshire’s uplands. It aims to restore an iconic area in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales putting it at the forefront of large-scale restoration efforts. In recent decades, intensive land use has had a heavy impact on the area, leaving bare limestone pavement and heavily grazed pasture.
But in time, the area will be transformed into a nature-rich haven. From the River Ribble up to the mountain summit, we will see the restoration of peatlands and the expansion of native woodland and scrub, to remove and store carbon, helping to tackle the climate emergency. Already three hundred hectares of land are being restored, with 3,000 native trees planted and hundreds of metres of drystone wall rebuilt. Academic monitoring of the project will give an evidence-base for new policy to benefit rural communities and boost the recovery of nature.
The project will initially cover 1,200 hectares and will be one of the first examples in England of re-establishing the natural tree line. It will connect existing nature reserves in the area, creating a bigger, more joined up space for wildlife. Over the next year, we will create around 40 hectares of new native woodland, with half created by planting 30,000 trees and half through natural regeneration helping to protect against flooding, improving soil and water quality.
We hope to improve the fortunes of precious species like black grouse, red squirrel, cuckoo and curlew that are clinging on in the area. Plants such as juniper, bird’s-eye primrose, globeflower and nine species of fern will also benefit. Ahead of the critical COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November, Wild Ingleborough provides a living example of how the UK’s uplands can be transformed.
We currently have a few volunteering roles on this project, and these are advertised on our volunteering pages. We also hope to advertise some more roles over the coming months, so do keep a look out on our website and in the monthly Volunteer News.
Paul Brady, Stakeholder Development Officer Wild Ingleborough