Natural History

Natural History of the Area

The Natural World

This beautiful part of North Yorkshire is rich in wildlife and plants of all types. Our garden is home to wild daffodils and many other wild plants, fungi and lichens as well as a variety of birds. We are proud to have been accepted into the North York Moors National Park Nature Friendly intitiative.

We have common newts and dragonflies in our pond and many insects can be seen in the garden. Further afield, why not try a whale watching trip from Staithes or Whitby or go on one of the organised boat trips along the coast to see sea birds close up. (It is best to book these in advance as they soon sell out.)


The National Park is home to some unusual birds such as turtle dove, nightjar and merlin. If you are keen birdwatchers we recommend a guided walk from an expert bird watcher.

Closer to home, we have seen 55 species of birds in our garden and these are some of the more common ones that live on the moor and in the woods nearby:



Barn owl

Barn owls hunt in the fields near the village and there is a healthy tawny owl population around the village


Peewits nest on the moor near here


In summer we often see young curlews standing on dry stone walls like this


Buzzards circle overhead every day - we once saw 9 soaring on the thermals over the ridge behind the cottage. (However, if you want to see them close up visit the National Birds of Prey Centre at Duncombe Park)

nest box

Many species of bird nest in the garden and swallows nest in our outbuildings.

This is one of our nest boxes.

Butterflies and other insects

We have identified 14 species of butterfly in the garden. There are many moths and several types of bees and wasps. Dragonflies and damsel flies breed in our pond.

Reptiles and amphibians

We have common frogs, toads and newts in the garden and you may find adders and lizards basking in the sunshine on the moor.

Plant life

There are many wild flowers in the area. The native wild daffodils that are famous in nearby Farndale attract many visitors each spring but they also grow along the riverside in other places and we have some in our garden.

Nearby nature reserves contain some rare orchids  - for example, the rare bee and fly orchids are found in Dalby Forest in early summer. Yorkshire Coast Nature also run wild flower trips led by an expert botanist.

Fungi, lichens and ferns thrive in places in the National Park, encouraged by the pure air.

horse chestnut at bottom of Spaunton Bank