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Wildlife at the North Yorkshire Water Park


From geese to Great white egrets, Woodpeckers to Ospreys, the lakes and woods around the North Yorkshire Water Park attract many feathered friends. More than 200 bird species have been spotted since 2019.


The North Yorkshire Water Park is home to seven bat species including the Soprano pipistrelle and Daunbenton’s.

Butterflies and moths

Monitoring focuses on The Causeways near Wykeham, an area of deciduous woodland with areas of mixed floral habitat and wetland margins. 533 different moth species have been recorded, including Peacock, Brindle Green and Birdswing moths. As well as the rare Purple Hairstreak butterfly.

All species are returned to where they were captured once they have been photographed.

Marbled white North Yorkshire Water Park

Dragonflies and damselflies

North Yorkshire Water Park provides ideal conditions for dragonflies and damselflies. Of the 44 native species 22 have been found on the Lakes. They include the rare Hairy Dragonfly and Willow Emerald Damselfly.

Get the full picture

More comprehensive details, including species lists, are available in the North Yorkshire Water Park Wildlife Report 2021.

The River Esk

The Estate owns the upper reaches of the River Esk, Yorkshire’s premier salmon and sea trout river. Wildlife such as kingfishers, otters and the endangered freshwater pearl mussel also call the river home.

The Estate and our tenants work in partnership with the River Esk and Coastal Streams Catchment Partnership to remove barriers to fish migration and install fish passes.

Active conservation

Encouraging the biodiversity of native flora and fauna is always a consideration in The Estates’ approach to farming, shooting and commercial enterprises.

Find out about our environmental projects and initiatives in Environment.


Nature thrives in the Estate’s wetland and woodland habitats.

If you enjoy wildlife spotting, there are interpretation panels and benches along the pathways of the North Yorkshire Water Park. Keep an eye out for the bird boxes, barn owl boxes and bat boxes around the site. There is also a high-level platform to encourage ospreys to nest.

Please click here see our Wildlife photos on Instagram