Wildlife

The Ingleborough area supports a range of exciting wildlife such as rare flowers, red squirrels, black grouse, cuckoos and curlews. Other rare species are notable by their absence. We hope that increasing the area of natural habitat, together with some targeted action aimed at giving specific wildlife a helping hand, can bring about their recovery.

Here is a taste of some of the exciting species awaiting your discovery!

KEY SPECIES

Curlew walking to the right

Curlew

Curlew populations are declining rapidly and unless we act now, the evocative sound of the uplands could go quiet forever. The project will help create the mosaic of grassland and wetland habitat curlews need, using low intensity cattle grazing to allow restoration of meadows, grasslands and peat bog.

Photo © Damian Waters

Black grouse Tetrao tetrix, male displaying at lek, Scotland, April

Black Grouse

Small numbers of this iconic species can be found in the Ingleborough area. The loss of woodland and scrub has impacted this bird across the UK and it is now on the Red List of Priority Species. Increasing preferred habitats will benefit this species.

Photo © Mark Hamblin / 2020 Vision

Red squirrel on tree stump

Red Squirrel

Very few native Red Squirrels survive in England as non-native Grey Squirrels outcompete them and spread the fatal squirrel pox disease. Some small isolated colonies of Red Squirrels still exist in this part of the Dales and the project should help connect these populations together to enable them to flourish.

Photo © Peter Cairns / 2020 Vision

A field filled with globeflowers (Trollius europeaus) in the Wild Ingleborough site.

Globeflower

This stunning flower, like a giant buttercup, would have once been a common sight across the Dales but is now rare. Restoring traditional hay meadows will help this species to thrive.

Photo © Andrew Parkinson WWF-UK

Photo of Juniper bushes

Juniper

Habitat loss and disease has caused a large decline in this evergreen shrub, famed for its blue berries used for flavouring gin. We will help this species thrive at Ingleborough by propagating and planting Juniper in suitable locations across the project area.

Photo © Joseph Gray WWF-UK

A detailed close up of a bird's-eye primrose (Primula farinosa) in the Wild Ingleborough project site.
Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales, UK

Bird’s-eye Primrose

Also known as the Yorkshire Primrose this attractive and rare species will flourish as grazing pressure is reduced.

Photo © Andrew Parkinson WWF-UK

A detailed close up of a Teesdale violet (Viola rupestris rosea) in the Wild Ingleborough project site.
Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales, UK

Teesdale Violet

Formerly thought to be restricted to the Teesdale area, this tiny flower has been found in abundance on some of the grasslands within the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve. It thrives in response to light cattle grazing and should spread across the Wild Ingleborough area as land management changes.

Photo © Andrew Parkinson WWF-UK

Small pearl bordered fritillary with wings open Copyright Allan Rodda

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

This exquisite butterfly has responded very well where areas of limestone pavement have been released from intensive grazing. We hope to encourage these butterflies to spread around the mountainside by continuing to encourage land management changes.

Photo © Allan Rodda

Brown Argus on a thistle to the right Copyright Fordon Bank Richard Willison

Northern Brown Argus

This tiny butterfly lays its eggs on Rock Rose, so reduced grazing of limestone grassland will allow the flowers to increase in population, helping the butterflies to colonise new areas.

Photo © Fordon Bank Richard Willison

iNaturalist Project

iNaturalist is a website and an app, which allows people to upload their findings and wildlife spots while out in nature. We have set up a Wild Ingleborough project, so that visitors to the Ingleborough Massif can contribute to our understanding of the wildlife and plantlife present in the area.

The project will initially run until 1st January 2023, and can be viewed here:

You don’t need to be an expert to contribute – you can ask for help or confirmation with your identifications, and you can also use iNaturalist’s “seek” app to help you: