Local project to protect Turtle Doves

A new scheme led by The North York Moors National Park Authority worth over £100,000 has secured £64,000 from National Lottery players to halt the dramatic decline in Turtle Dove numbers.

Thanks to the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), this exciting project will enable vital research and conservation work to be undertaken over the next 3 years and ties in to HLF’s natural heritage campaign, Yorkshire’s back garden.

The Turtle Dove’s purring call is rapidly becoming rarer and this species is considered vulnerable to global extinction. In this small corner of Yorkshire, numbers may be stable, but we urgently need to understand and enhance what this landscape provides before our population declines too. Local residents and visitors may lose the chance to appreciate this beautiful, evocative bird before they even realise that it is there.

Photo courtesy of the NYMNPA

The project will focus on where Turtle Doves have been recorded recently, principally around the forests of the southern fringe of the North York Moors National Park. The project will be delivered by a number of partners including the National Park Authority as lead, the Forestry Commission, RSPB, North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre, Scarborough Borough Council, the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and crucially local volunteers all in partnership with land managers and communities. The results of volunteer survey effort will enable the team to tailor advice to all land managers within the project area whose land has potential to support Turtle Doves.

Rona Charles, Ecologist Officer at the National Park said:

The North York Moors National Park Authority and our partners will guide improvements on farms, in forests, roadsides, public spaces and residents’ gardens. Over 300,000 people visit key centres at Sutton Bank and Dalby annually and they will learn about our Turtle Doves, the threats they face and how our efforts could prevent local extinction and contribute to conservation nationally.”

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