Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Suzie Knight

WRF Landowner engagement partner

I am very fortunate to have the pleasure of working for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) in the Upper Aire catchment, where I’ve been working with many landowners and local contractors for last three years. I hope to remain here for many years to come, continuing the exciting work carried out by YWT over the last decade.

I have worked on everything from the urban becks of York city centre and Leeds to the beautiful upland becks above Skipton. Working to restore natural clean waterways, providing habitat for the river’s wildlife, fish, birds and mammals, is what excites me. Ponds, scrapes, hedges, trees and leaky dams all contribute to better waterways for wildlife as well as helping with flooding downstream. Recently I’ve been working across the Upper Aire with 23 landowners to install NFM features on their land. This included nearly 3km of hedgerow, over 7km of stock fencing to protect new planting, 12,000 trees and 280 leaky dams, plus a fair few ponds.

I love the Upper Aire. It is beautiful, the people are great and there’s so much scope for doing work that is good for both farming and wildlife. I have a lot of respect for the people who work hard to make their living in this region and really enjoy working with them to find solutions to meet everyone’s needs. YWT has a great history in the area thanks to the hard work of my predecessor and I intend to uphold those relationships and maintain the good reputation of the YWT.

I can spot a good NFM opportunity and have the experience to suggest various creative ways to implement it. I will always work with the landowner to understand what they want to achieve. There are usually a few ways to approach a project to find the right solution for the landowner, whilst remaining considerate of their day-to-day commitments. I am all about the practical delivery, rather than project managing from behind a laptop. I love going and having a look at a site with a landowner. It is the best way to visualise and discuss a project. I am grateful to be granted access to otherwise inaccessible land, so I make myself available to help and support landowners throughout the process.