North Yorkshire

Sparsely populated yet large in size (bigger than all of the other regions put together), its no surprise that North Yorkshire contains some of the best areas in the county for the wildlife enthusiast. Within its boundaries lie almost all of both the North Yorks Moors and Yorkshire Dales, in fact around 40% of North Yorkshire is covered by National Park land. In addition the region also contains 2 areas of outstanding natural beauty (Nidderdale and The Howardian Hills), and 2 stretches of Heritage Coastline (Staithes down to Scarborough and the northern part of Flamborough Headland). The city of York is by far the largest centre of population, with the towns of Harrogate and Scarborough the next biggest.

North Yorkshire is split into the following districts -

The north east and the west of the region are dominated by the 2 national parks with the North Yorks Moors covering most of Rydale, Hambleton and Scarborough, and the Yorkshire Dales covering much of the Harrogate, Richmond and Craven districts. Both contain valuable upland habitats for wildlife and are dealt with in more detail under the 'living landscapes' pages along with the Howardian Hills. The low lying plains around the Vale of York and southwards towards Selby contain a high proportion of arable land but also some areas of national importance, notably around the floodplains of the river Derwent.

Selected Top Sites (see map top right)

Designated nature reserve
Local site


Header Image - Rosedale

Header Image N.Yorks map attribution - Nilfanion, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons