The biodiversity of Ryedale District gives it a unique character, making it a great asset. The area is formed around the River Rye and the River Derwent, which together contribute to the formation of many of the beautiful habitats. Some of the habitats found in Ryedale are acidic oak woodland, chalk grassland, wetlands and wildlife rich ponds, as well as parts of the North York Moors National Park and the Yorkshire Wolds. This wide range of habitats support and even wider range of species of interest, including various farmland birds, the Pipistrelle Bat, the Great Crested Newt and the River Otter, which all contribute to the unique landscape of Ryedale.
There are several areas of interest within the Ryedale district:
Vale of York
Parts of the Vale of York lie within the Ryedale district. It is a very flat area of low lying land which surrounds the City of York., and is surrounded by higher lands, holding many areas of high quality soils. This soil quality is now being used for arable cultivation, with some pig and dairy farming. The rivers within the area drain southwards through the vale, following through to the Humber basin. The low lying land creates a series of flood plain habitats with many associated species, however this area is at threat due to problems with water quality.
The river Ouse is home to the rare Tansy Beetle, and this area of the river is now its only home. Conservation efforts are underway to create more riparian and pond habitats which include the tansy plant which it feeds on, in the hopes of recovering the population. To learn more about the Tansy Beetle and the conservation efforts, click here.
The vale is also home to Allerthorpe Common Nature Reserve, containing a fabulous area of lowland heath, and supporting a superb selection of wildlife such as adders, lizards and many invertebrate such as beetles and dragonflies. The scare plant St. John’s-wort also thrives in this area. to learn more about this area, click here.
North York Moors
Part of the North York Moors lie within the Ryedale District. The moors of North Yorkshire are situated in an upland sandstone area, and is the largest continuous expanse of upland heather moorland in England. Whilst the plateaus are blanketed in moorland, the valleys throughout create a strong contrast, filled with woodlands and pastures. Moorland areas can be of great importance to the environment, as often they are situated on Carbon rich peat soils. These are a valuable Carbon sink, helping to store vast amounts of excess carbon and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. The Yorkshire Peat Partnership works on the preservation of these peat lands. to read more information on their work, click here.
The rolling chalk hills form a characteristic landscape in the Wolds, and part of them are home in the Ryedale district. The majority of the land is agricultural, with few areas being used for urban areas or woodland.