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Wild Ingleborough – restoring a nature haven

By 24 June 2021September 8th, 2021No Comments

UBoC are really excited to announce Wild Ingleborough – a restoration project in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The project is a partnership between  Yorkshire Wildlife TrustWWF, Natural England, the University of Leeds,UBoC, Woodland Trust and the local community to restore over 1150 hectares around Ingleborough. Working with local communities and farmers, the project aims to share skills and knowledge to help create a wilder future for Ingleborough.

The land around Ingleborough has suffered loss of diversity over many years, but this partnership has a vision to bring back a rich variety of flora and fauna through restoration of natural habitats.

The partnership has been established as a flagship project to demonstrate the potential for nature restoration and the effects this may have for biodiversity and carbon storage across the landscape.

Scientific monitoring at the site will be lead by researchers from UBoC and the University of Leeds, to track changes in the landscape over time and help to build an evidence base for the benefits of restoration. UBoC’s Professor Dominick Spracklen, who will be researching Wild Ingleborough, said: “We will embed monitoring in the project from the outset, allowing us to demonstrate the benefits of Wild Ingleborough for nature, climate and people.”

From the River Ribble, up to the summit of Ingleborough, the project will see restoration of peatlands and the expansion of native woodlands and scrub, which will help to tackle the climate emergency through the removal and storage of carbon.

UBoC’s Scientific Lead, Dr Cat Scott said: “Creating new woodlands is a critical component of efforts to mitigate climate change and reach net-zero. Wild Ingleborough will showcase the benefits of upland native woodland and provide vital new evidence around how we can best increase carbon storage and reverse the biodiversity decline across UK landscapes.”

Over the next 12 months, the project will create around 40 hectares of new native woodland, with half created by planting 30,000 trees and the other half through natural regeneration. By aiding nature’s recovery, the project hopes to protect and restore wildlife-friendly habitats, home to precious animal species including black grouse, red squirrel, cuckoos and curlew – of which there are currently only two pairs within the Ingleborough project area.

The project will also work to protect against flooding, and through building relationships with landowners and farmers, help to develop low-intensity farming practices.

To keep up to date with the project, follow us on Twitter @UBoC_rainforest.