RARE species from red squirrels to black grouse are thriving in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a report has revealed.

In 2010 a Local Bio-diversity Action Plan known as ‘2020 Vision’ was unveiled, identifying habitats and species ‘at risk’ in the National Park.

It set out the conservation work needed to protect them over the next decade.

Now a report reviewing its progress in the first four years shows there has been ‘major success’ in managing many of the important habitats.

In addition, targeted conservation work for some species has been successful and sees many bucking national population trends.


Adrian Shepherd, the YDNPA’s head of land management, said: “This is great news for the National Park. 2020 Vision set out two primary objectives for the end of 2013 – and both have been achieved.

“The first was to make sure 65 per cent of the area of priority habitats in the national park were in ‘good’ condition – and we have achieved an 89 per cent success rate so far.

“We have also found that the populations of 38 of the 46 species that are currently ‘monitorable’ are stable, beating our initial target.

“In fact, we are bucking the trend with some of our important priority bird species like lapwings, cur-lews and black grouse because the populations are stable here while they are in decline nationally.”

Other successes include stabilising the distribution of red squirrels and dormice in the national park and halting the decline in numbers of priority invertebrate species such as the fine-lined pea mussel and round-mouthed whorl snail.

The full review is available at www.naturein-thedales.org.uk