Donate to the Yorkshire Dales Appeal

Longhorn cattle and sheep grazing on the fells
Native hardy breeds of cattle are part of a lighter grazing system National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

The Dales you see today have been shaped by human intervention over hundreds of years.

Many native species of flora and fauna have been lost, and others are threatened. Centuries of heavy grazing and woodland clearance has left the land bare and uniform and the river systems and peatlands need our help now to avoid further flooding and erosion.

What we're doing

Better ways of grazing

We’ll continue our work with tenant farmers who are already looking into different farming models, by moving to light and extensive grazing systems with traditional native hardy breeds of cattle that don’t need to be housed over winter.

Planting native species

Planting native trees and shrubs in more areas will help some of the seriously declining species of birds as well as a wide variety of invertebrates and small mammals. With more places to live, they can move around to survive changes in climate.

Repairing blanket bogs

Restoring and combating erosion of the blanket bogs is crucial to this project. These natural bogs regulate water entering the river systems and act as carbon sinks, with carbon dioxide emission savings equivalent to over five million miles of travel.

Threatened species that need your help

Red squirrels

There are thought to be only about 3,000 red squirrels left in England compared to roughly 2.5 million grey squirrels across the UK; there is an important red squirrel reserve close to the land we protect in the Dales.

Ring ouzel

Ring ouzel has suffered serious decline in the UK. It nests in rocky valley sides, generally under heather or bracken. Our work will produce taller vegetation with patchy tree and shrub cover that will be of real benefit to this species.

Northern brown argus

The northern brown argus butterfly is starting to make a comeback in the Dales. However, we want to do much more for it, and the host of other species, that benefit from the naturalistic patchwork of taller grassland and areas of scrub that we’re hoping to achieve.


In more natural systems, juniper scrub tends to be a pioneer community in woodland clearings and would have been common across the Yorkshire Dales, supporting a range of insect and bird species.

Black grouse

Black grouse flourishing in the Dales will be a good indicator that our work's succeeding.

How you can help

£25 will pay for the planting and protection of five native tree species
£80 will enable us to fence 10m of riverside
£100 will help restore 200sqm of eroded blanket bog
£250 will help us to buy a Longhorn, Galloway or Highland cow