Butterfly clouds, live birdsong festivals, and royal appointments with queen bees are just some of the magical encounters on offer in Yorkshire, as holidaymakers to York and its rural neighbour Ryedale are being encouraged to stand up for British wildlife.
With 40%–70% of native species predicted to go extinct if action is not taken, Ryedale’s tourism businesses are working hard to ‘find a room’ for the neglected and disappearing wildlife, encouraging visitors to shun expensive holidays abroad to enjoy free safaris in one of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, encountering some of the UK’s rarest and undervalued wildlife.
“The Brits are a nation of animal lovers,” explains Craig Nattress of Visit Ryedale the partnership behind the rural renaissance. “We’re captivated by David Attenborough, and our holiday bucket lists often include the chance to encounter rare creatures – but we tend to ignore our own native wildlife! We’re trying to change that in Ryedale, encouraging visitors to celebrate those quintessentially English magical encounters with nature that are so threatened – spiralling larks in summer meadows, brown hares racing across autumn’s stubble fields, colourful meadows of wildflowers with the hum of honeybees, the spring-time peregrinations of baby toads, a glimpse of shy deer in broad-leaved woodland glades. These simple moments are so special – but if they’re forgotten, they’ll easily be lost.”
Visitors to the area can enjoy many close – and unusual – encounters with wildlife, whilst also giving native creatures a happy future, including:
Wander through butterfly clouds and get a free ticket to live birdsong festivals, as the area’s visitor attractions plant miles and miles of colourful wildflower meadow and thousands of native trees, teeming with nature.
Make a royal appointment: get suited up to meet the queen of some of the UK’s happiest bees (and their besotted beekeeper), as ancient orchards are restored – with the chance to taste both the fruits and honey of their labours.
Discover a new breed of animal attraction: historic country estates, once home to medieval monks and powerful barons, are now ‘des res’ for wildlife, while theme parks are nature’s playgrounds.
Introducing the Great Yorkshire Safari – wildlife guaranteed, it’s on your doorstep, and it’s free! And for something a little different, how about a safari by steam on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, or even by husky?
A personal nature show (without roughing it): in the comfort of a luxury holiday home eat breakfast with the ‘deer’ neighbours, or watch chicks hatching live in their nests via a webcam direct on the living room TV set!
Even artists are going wild: meet top international wildlife artists and craftspeople in their natural habitat – their workshops (or even their gardens)!
The UK’s natural supermarket, with wildlife-friendly farming attracting the country’s top chefs and producers (and a golden harvest of awards and plaudits…)
To plan the holiday adventure of a lifetime and support British wildlife, visit or , consult an expert at York’s Visitor Information Centre on Museum Street (near York Minster); for ideas while you’re already out and about in North Yorkshire, there’s free WiFi, maps and guides at Visitor Information Points in Helmsley, Malton and Pickering.