Unique animals to spot while exploring Yorkshire’s parks and wildlife reserves - from badgers to puffins

Research shows some of Yorkshire’s most unique wildlife that can be seen by locals and visitors.

Holiday home operator, Park Leisure, has conducted research which reveals the most unusual and surprising animals which can be observed from Yorkshire’s wildlife reserves and parks.

As well as its stunning scenery, Yorkshire also has a variety of wildlife species that make up its ecology.

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Whether you spot a Badger or a Puffin, there’s plenty to see for those who want to explore and wander up and down the region during the summer months.

Close-up of a European badger also called Eurasian badger (Mele meles).

Experts at The Wildlife Trust have offered some advice for those planning on looking out for wildlife over the warmer seasons.

Landscapes recovery programme manager for The Wildlife Trust, James Byrne, said: “We’re very fortunate to have some incredible wildlife right on our doorstep. We want people to experience the majesty of nature but also to take care and be responsible.

“That means leaving no trace, sticking to footpaths, keeping dogs on leads, and ensuring your visit causes minimal disruption to wild habitats and the species that call them home. There’s nothing better than seeing wildlife up close, though it’s important to be sensitive and ensure your presence isn’t causing undue stress.”

Director of marketing and holiday sales at Park Leisure, Lisa Williams, said: “The scenery and local wildlife within Yorkshire has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty and we want to be advocates for people getting outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather we’ll be having this year.

Pair of Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) resting on a ledge at the top of a cliff.

“Our parks are located close to many of these wildlife-rich locations so that visitors can make the most of possibly sighting these amazing animals whilst being able to enjoy a cosy holiday home.”

Here are the five unique animals to spot in Yorkshire.

1 - Red squirrel

Whilst there are many wildlife reserves in Yorkshire committed to protecting the red squirrel in its natural habitat.

A Red Squirrel, sitting on a branch.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park and villages surrounding it have become known areas to observe the red squirrel due to their efforts in conservation.

Try and look out for nibbled pinecones and cracked hazelnuts and you may see a red squirrel follow you.

2 - Puffins

Europe’s largest mainland seabird colony attaches itself to Flamborough Cliffs, which boasts stunning views of puffins, especially during spring.

A red kite in flight.

3 - Roe deer

Smaller mammals, like the deer, voles and badgers, can be sighted around the Yorkshire Dales.

Herds of roe deer can be seen at the Grass Wood Nature Reserve, close to Grassington, in quieter parts of the reserve.

Whilst usually quiet, these animals can scare easily, so it’s important that you approach them in a calm and quiet manner so you don’t scare them off.

4 - Red kites

A bird of prey that can be seen in numerous locations across the county, these striking raptors are easily identifiable by their five-foot wingspan and iconic forked tail meaning you don’t have to be an expert bird watcher to know what to look out for.

5 - Badgers

Badgers are known to make their homes in the countryside and woodland of the Yorkshire Dales.

They can be observed in their natural habitat in Cropton Forest near Pickering in which they are actively preventing the flooding of the Sutherland Beck, which otherwise would put the small town of Pickering at risk.