Our highlights of 2019

Our highlights of 2019

(c) Stewart McDonald

2019 has been a fantastic year for us!

Thank you to all of our supporters for helping us make this year one to remember fondly! We’ve achieved so much, and we couldn’t have done any of it without you. Here are some of our highlights from 2019...

Views over Buckden Pike

Credit: Gordon Haycock

We Gave Peat A Chance

Our Peatlands Appeal in the spring raised a whopping £80,000 for Yorkshire's peatlands.

Your generous support means our peat team can continue their essential restoration work on our moors, helping to capture carbon, reduce the risk of flooding and protect wildlife.

Find out more about peatland restoration
Wheldrake Ings Nature Reserve

We invested in our nature reserves

Our nature reserves are a sanctuary for wildlife and people alike. We work tirelessly all year round to keep these places a thriving home for wildlife.

We opened a brand new nature reserve this year - Ripon City Wetlands. Built in the footprint of a working quarry, it's now a haven for wildlife and already attracting little egret, ringed plover and bittern.

We've also invested over £500,000 at Wheldrake Ings, which is a part of the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve. We’re continuing to invest in our other vital sites, thanks in part to the funds we’re raising through our latest appeal.

Read more about Ripon City Wetlands
Staff outside the Wildlife Zone at Castle Howard

We had a wild time at Countryfile Live

For the first time, Countryfile Live came north to Castle Howard.

We hosted the Wildlife Zone - a free, interactive woodland area where visitors could find out all about Yorkshire's amazing landscapes and wildlife.

It was a roaring success and we'll be back next year!

Did we inspire you to help wildlife?
Volunteer on the Upper Aire

(c) Adrian Roper

Our volunteers made all the difference

Our 861 amazing volunteers clocked up an astonishing 50,890 hours between them this year - that's almost six years' work! We are indebted to our volunteers, from our reliable vehicle checkers and super scrub-bashers to our brilliant beach clean helpers.

Your time helps us to carry out even more fantastic conservation and education work across Yorkshire - we cannot thank you enough.

Have you thought about volunteering?
Rachael Bice, CEO

We welcomed our new CEO

Back in March, we said goodbye to Rob Stoneman, who had been at the helm for 13 years. During his time with us, Rob made a significant contribution towards our vision of a Yorkshire richer in wildlife for the benefit of everyone - we wish him all the best for the future!

In September, we welcomed Rachael Bice to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Rachael joins us from Cornwall and has been busy immersing herself in everything to do with the Trust. She's excited to start tackling global problems from a grassroots level and believes we can all be powerful agents of change.

Willow tit - Adam Jones

Willow tit - Adam Jones

We're bringing willow tits back from the brink

In the Dearne Valley, we're working with other organisations as part of the Back from the Brink project, helping save the willow tit from extinction.

We've been creating habitat that willow tits will thrive in and we're thrilled to report that we've seen a 50% increase in breeding pairs in our area of work!

What's more, Back from the Brink won 'Best Heritage Project' at the National Lottery Awards in November!

Discover more about willow tits
Sunlight over Askham Bog

Credit: Daniel Malone

We're campaigning for Askham Bog

Askham Bog was our first ever nature reserve, nestled on the outskirts of York. Described as a 'cathedral of nature conservation' by Sir David Attenborough, it's being threatened by development nearby.

We were overwhelmed with your support for Askham Bog this year. A huge thank you to everyone who supported us, from sharing your stories to donating to the appeal.

We helped to represent Askham Bog with City of York Council at the public inquiry in November. We're now awaiting the recommendation, to come in February.

Read about our campaign
Nature Tots

We worked with people all over Yorkshire

Part of our mission is to inspire and educate people all over Yorkshire about our fantastic wildlife. We ran over 350 events this year!

We've loved helping to engage people with nature. From our tiny forest tots to our military 'Spurn Safari' history and wildlife tours, there really is something for everyone.

Join us at an event next year
Seal on oyster trestles

We reintroduced oysters to the Humber...

...for the first time in 70 years!

It was once said that you could walk across the mouth of the Humber estuary on the backs of oysters. Sadly, industrialisation had caused them to disappear entirely.

As part of the Humber Aquaculture Partnership, we worked with the University of Hull to install oyster trestles at Spurn point. The oysters have filtered over 1 million litres of water so far!

Read more
Common Dolphins

(c) Caroline Weir

We secured a brighter future for the North Sea

Back in July, a new group of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) were announced by the government. For Yorkshire, these included Holderness Offshore and Markham’s Triangle, totalling over 1200km2 of protected area!

This announcement was the culmination of many years campaigning and advocacy by people and organisations across the country, including Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Read about the campaign to save our seas
Christmas gift

(C) Rawpixel, unsplash

We helped people make a change

We stocked our shop with items to help you follow a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle, from reusable cups and bottles to seed bombs and bird food.

We also relaunched our gift memberships, making it even easier to give your loved ones unforgettable wild experiences - a perfect gift for those people who don't want any more 'things'!

Browse our eco-friendly range
Spurn Point

Credit: Roger Ratcliffe

We had a bumper year at Spurn

From Spurn Safaris to arts festivals and bespoke birding tours to hosting the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, we've loved welcoming over 50,000 of you to this fantastic landscape.

With big skies and fresh air, it's perfect for a Boxing Day walk! Our Discovery Centre will be open, so you can stop off for a hot drink and cake afterwards.

Visit Spurn

It's all thanks to you.

Without your support, we would not be the charity we are today. You are helping to protect our wildlife and landscapes and inspiring people across Yorkshire to take action for nature. Whether you've given your money, your time or your words of support - we're so grateful. Thank you.

We're looking forward to what 2020 will bring us. Whatever happens, we'll continue our mission to create a wilder Yorkshire for everyone!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!