Ecology and wildlife

Details of the work we do to protect and enhance North Yorkshire's wildlife and natural spaces.

Our heritage services team can advise on many aspects of the variety of plants and animals in our area. This ranges from incorporating biodiversity into large-scale developments to working with communities and schools on smaller projects.

The heritage services team also helps to manage verges of special interest for wild flowers and bees.

Our ecology team, part of the heritage services team, helps to protect the county's habitats and wildlife by providing ecological planning guidance.

North Yorkshire and York local nature partnership

The local nature partnership covers all of North Yorkshire and the City of York, except for the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Nidderdale AONB which are included in the neighbouring Northern Upland Chain local nature partnership area. Local nature partnerships are a government initiative to encourage organisations with an interest in nature and the environment to work together more closely. The partnership helps manage nature in a more integrated way for the benefit of wildlife, people and the economy.

Local biodiversity action plans

A biodiversity action plan identifies habitats and species that may need conservation help. In North Yorkshire, these plans were developed by the former district and borough councils until April 2023.

Sites of importance for nature conservation

A site of importance for nature conservation designation seeks to protect areas rich in wildlife, including ancient woodland and flower-rich grassland.

Sites of importance for nature conservation are also known as local wildlife sites and, as a result of increasing pressures, they are often small, isolated and fragmented. Our natural environment team is working with partners to protect the 750 sites in the county. If your land is designated a site of importance for nature conservation, it does not place any legal restrictions on how you farm it. Advice can be sought from the ecology team, Yorkshire wildlife trust and the Yorkshire farming and wildlife practice.