Find out more about nature

Visitors to the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being urged to start nature spotting and get involved in a national drive to increase awareness of their natural surroundings.

A project run by the British Science Association is encouraging people to take photos of animals and plant life that are unfamiliar and post them on a national website for recognition.

The Association created the ‘What on Earth’ project for National Science and Engineering Week, which runs from today (March 12) to March 21.

Its website at contains a ‘star species’ section of animals that are either at risk of extinction or are making a comeback.

Andrew Colley, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Member Champion for Conservation of the Natural Environment, said: “The Yorkshire Dales National Park is renowned for its rich and diverse wildlife. Some of the species are well known, like red squirrels and bluebells, but others are extremely rare. This is a chance for anyone who sees something that they don’t recognise to find out what it is.”

Natalie Broadhurst, the Association’s Regional Programmes Officer, said: “The theme of the week is ‘Earth’ and we are running various projects on a biodiversity theme to complement the United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity this year. These include, amongst many others, our “What on Earth” project, which aims to get the public to send in photos of British wildlife that they don’t recognise so that we can link them up with experts who can help identify it during the week.

“Upload a photo of anything you don’t recognise and in return we’ll try our best to identify it and – subject to availability – we will send you a free packet of seeds designed to encourage more creatures to inhabit your local space in addition to a Biodiversity Information and Activity Pack.”

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