SKIPTON is taking a leading role in the fight to protect and enhance the precious Yorkshire landscape.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has opened its first office in the town - based in Gargrave Road at Skipton cattle market - from where it will spearhead work to identify peatland habitats in need of restoration.

The staff, who include a number of volunteers, will also be responsible for managing the trust's reserves such as at Grass Woods, near Grassington and at Southerscales and Semer Water, near Hawes and enhancing habitats for wildlife.

The new office will also help cut down on travel time by staff from the head office in York to the nature reserves for which they are responsible.

The trust's northern regional manager, Dr Tim Thom said the overall aim was to reverse the decline of wildlife across the county.

“Our new office will be home to our staff and volunteer team working for the Yorkshire Peat Partnership.

"This trust-led partnership has been embarking on a huge programme of peatland restoration since 2009.

"The project area is vast, covering parts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale AONB, North York Moors National Park and areas of the South Pennines.

"The Skipton office will be a valuable base for the team, as they continue their work to survey and identify peatland habitats in need of restoration, and then monitor them as they progress back to their former glory - helping to lock carbon in the ground, keep our drinking waters clear and provide a wonderful home for upland wildlife.”

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has worked across the county for 70 years managing over 100 of Yorkshire’s best places for wildlife - from the iconic chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head to the limestone pavements on the shoulder of Ingleborough, he said.

Its work also goes well beyond the boundaries of the nature reserves and for decades the charity had been working with landowners the length and breadth of Yorkshire to help improve areas for wildlife by creating wildflower meadows, woodlands, wetlands and peatlands.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust looks after over 95 of Yorkshire’s best places for wildlife and encourages people to visit and get involved with their care.

It works where ever wildlife is under threat to find solutions that benefit both wildlife and people. Thousands of children, families and others are encouraged to engage with their local environment and with their support and that of volunteers, the trust is restoring and recreating a Living Landscape in Yorkshire and raising awareness of, and fighting for, Yorkshire’s Living Sea.

For more information about the work of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust visit