From red squirrels to whales - the best places in Yorkshire to see wildlife
Let’s take a look at some of the best places to get close up and personal with the county’s flora and fauna.
The family favourite is one of the best places in England to see, hear and smell seabirds.
Take yourself on a bracing walk along chalk clifftops – at more than 400 feet, they're Britain's highest. The skies are filled with puffins, gannets and guillemots. It's an astonishing sight.
Enjoy the comical antics of puffins each year from spring to mid-summer. Watch the adults returning from fishing forays at sea with sand eels hanging from their beaks. The birds are also a familiar sight at nearby Flamborough head.
The RSPB has a National Seabird Centre which is the gateway to the seabird spectacle. There are also six accessible viewing platforms and accessible paths.
Whitby is one of the finest places for whale watching on the Yorkshire coast and early autumn evenings are the best time.
Between mid-September and early November, one of Whitby Coastal Cruises purpose-built, twin-decked pleasure boats leaves Whitby harbour in search of minke whales that follow the shoals of North Sea herring which swim down from the Arctic to their spawning grounds off Whitby.
Yorkshire Dales and Moors
Go red squirrel spotting on the Snaizeholme red squirrel trail. The Widdale Red Squirrel Reserve near Hawes, is one of 16 areas in the UK dedicated to preserving the red squirrel in its natural habitat.
You can see this shy native species in its natural woodland environment all year round but autumn is when they are at their most active as they gather nuts and prepare their drays for winter.
There is a specially-created viewing area which gives you the best opportunity to spot the squirrels and take photos.
Follow the 4.5 mile Ingleton Waterfalls Trail through ancient oak woodland and magnificent Dales scenery via a series of spectacular waterfalls.
As you walk along the trail you'll not only see the ancient base rocks, but also the many rare plants, birds and trees they support. It's this rich variety of unique geological features and plant life that makes this a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The site is particularly rich in woodland mosses and liverworts and is the sole site for the endemic Yorkshire feather moss. Brown trout can commonly be seen leaping up the waterfalls and dippers are often seen at water level, indicating good water quality.
North Yorks Moors
One of the best places for watching wildlife in Yorkshire is the North York Moors National Park.
It has its own big five – not big in size but big in importance. Much of the moorland of the National Park has special national and European recognition and it is a superb place to see golden plover, curlew, lapwing, red grouse and Britain's smallest bird of prey, the merlin.
Walk on the wildside with English Heritage
Yorkshire's many English Heritage sites may be better known for their abbeys and castles. But take a closer look.
From wild deer, rabbits and squirrels at peaceful Rievaulx Abbey to the famous stoats at Mount Grace Priory there's a wealth of wildlife to discover.
Red kites in full flight at Harewood House, near Leeds, are a sight that leaves many in awe.
Released on the estate in 1999 as part of a conservation initiative, their numbers are gradually increasing each year. So spotting a few should be pretty easy.
Deer also roam in the grounds of Sledmere House, near Bridlington, and Fountains Abbey, near Ripon.
RSPB Fairburn Ings, near Wakefield
In autumn and winter you can spot fungi, ripening acorns and chestnuts and migrating geese, ducks and redpoll arriving.
Spurn Point, East Yorkshire
For an out-of-this-world experience, head off to Spurn Point, a prime spot for migrating birdlife. The hooked finger of sand and shingle sweeps across the mouth of the Humber into the North Sea. At three miles long and 164-feet wide, it's a wilderness and a National Nature Reserve with a weird beauty.