Have Some Wild Fun This Summer
Photo: Matthew Roberts ©
July is a month brimming with life. Schools have broken up, and warm summer days are punctuated by the hum of insects, occasional swooping swifts and the glorious colours of verdant hedgerows and butterflies fluttering-by. Our evenings are filled with the fragrance of honeysuckle and jasmine, the buzz of a bat skimming by, and if you’re very lucky, the occasional owl.
Yorkshire too comes alive over the summer, with a wealth of wildlife fun for those looking for an adventure – or who just want to see something a little different! Here are Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s top tips on where to go a little wilder this summer…
Photo: Emma Bradshaw©
Bats are most active in the summer months when they come out of hibernation, hunt insects, give birth and raise young, and the best time to see them is around sunset or sunrise when it is warm and dry. A summer evening stroll along the Lines Way near Leeds will offer a glimpse of bats foraging overhead - Potteric Carr nature reserve near Doncaster is also a great place to spot bats, and Staveley nature reserve in north Yorkshire is particularly good for pipistrelle bats. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are running a Bedtime Bat Walk
at Water Haigh Woodland Park on 25th August.
Photo: Alexander Mustard 2020VISION©
For a day by the sea, head to Flamborough Cliffs nature reserve, which hosts internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds including kittiwakes, guillemots, and puffins - creating quite the raucous – as well as a fantastic shoreline and some open-water cruises
. The auks, including puffins, begin to depart by early August, but the Trust hosts lots of exciting events on the coast including beach cleans up and down the coast, seashore safaris, fossil hunts
Yorkshire’s heather blossom peaks in August, providing bees, stonechats and skylarks with a sun-drenched home. Allerthorpe Common is one of the last three remaining pockets of lowland heath in the Vale of York, and a great place to catch a glimpse of an adder basking on the warm soil – enjoy them from a distance! At Fen Bog nature reserve, listen out too for curlew, spot the swoop of a merlin overhead, or spy the famous North York Moors Railway steam trains, which pass next to the nature reserve.
Children looking at wildlife
Photo: Ross Hoddinott 2020VISION©
Stirley nature reserve is hosting Bands in the Barn
on 21st July - it’s shaping up to be a magical evening of wild song in the large restored barn, presenting local acoustic folk bands to make you smile, dance and sing!
Finally, for those in the mood to learn more about some of the creatures we share our space with, the Trust are hosting a number of wild creature discovery days across Yorkshire during the summer. Try out an early morning moth identification
event at Potteric Carr on 12th August, a shark egg hunt
at Spurn on the 1st and 14th August, or dig around for minibeasts
at Ripon City Wetlands on the 16th August.
With over 100 nature reserves across Yorkshire, there’s a wild spot for everybody and soul. Wherever you go this summer, make sure to pick up a copy of the new Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife guidebook from your local bookstore or the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website. The guide includes information on each reserve including best time of year to visit and what wildlife to spot, how accessible it is for different visitors, as well as ‘best for’ guides, spotters guides and suggested seasonal walks. It’s free to all new members and existing members can get a copy at 30% discount from the Trust.
If you’re interested in learning more about what events Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are running this summer, check out the events page on their website at https://www.ywt.org.uk/events