Research Working Group

© Martin Jones-Gill
The YMNP’s Research Working Group are an interdisciplinary team exploring opportunities to build on existing research, collaborate on new research projects, and identify where data can be applied more effectively to the decision-making process.

A Yorkshire Coast Research Strategy has been developed to support the group’s work, alongside a portfolio of potential projects. Working collaboratively in this way helps to reduce duplication and highlights where skills can be shared across the network.

Marine Litter Data – Task and Finish Group

The Yorkshire coast benefits from huge community of people who carry out beach cleans, conduct litter surveys and implement projects to reduce litter at sea. The data collected is incredibly important to understand more about how we use our natural environment, and how we can all be supported to look after it.

This focussed task and finish group is identifying how we can ensure that this data is accessed, interpreted and applied to local decision-making processes. Incorporating this information into policies, strategies and other projects will support environmental improvements in the long-term, and provide feedback to the volunteers collecting data.

Find out more about the Yorkshire Coast Marine Litter Coalition.

Common Spotted Orchid

Intertidal Surveys – Task and Finish Group

We know a lot about the Yorkshire coast, but it’s complexities, size and connectivity with other ecosystems means that there are still a good number of unanswered questions too.

This task and finish group will start with the basics – building up a good level of baseline data about Yorkshire’s intertidal areas and filling knowledge gaps around species distribution. Supported by the National Trust and other partners, this group will build a robust methodology for the surveys and identify priority areas to be explored, with the aim of carrying out the work in 2022.

Find out more

Potential Projects

  • Topic Potential Research Status
    Sandeel stocks and movements in the North Sea (literature review) How have sandeel stocks in the North Sea changed over time (quantity and extent)?  How does this impact seabirds and marine mammals?  How is this linked with wider activities and environmental changes? Not active
    Flamborough Front How does the Flamborough Front tidal system impact Yorkshire coast species movements?  Will climate change have a significant impact on this? Not active
    Urban Gulls What are the differences between urban and cliff-dwelling herring gulls in population extent/density and productivity? How can this inform future management and support positive engagement with communities? Not active
    Long-term changes in environmental variables at sea, as a result of climate change How is the sea-surface temperature changing overtime, both inshore and offshore?  How is salinity changing?  Are there changes in sediment transport and turbidity? Not locally active
    Cetecean Mapping Project to monitor and map cetacean presence, distribution and behaviour along the Yorkshire coast Active – Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
    Elasmobranch Monitoring What is the extent/distribution/behaviours etc. of elasmobranch species on the Yorkshire coast?
    Finfish Nursery and Spawning Grounds How can we improve understanding of finfish nursery/juvenile and spawning areas
    Blue carbon –  sequestration Map and quantify carbon sequestration services from marine habitats; how can this information be used to inform policy and decision-making? Partially Active – Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
  • Topic Potential Research Status
    Flamborough Head No Take Zone Habitat surveys to ground-truth existing data and support additional data collection Partially Active – YMNP
    Diet studies of auk species (Seabird Monitoring Programme) Comprehensive studies of auk diet during breeding season within F&FC SPA Partially Active – RSPB
    Flamborough Head SAC Reef Extent Updated map of chalk reef extent within Flamborough Head SAC and potential pressures on habitat Partially Active – NEIFCA and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
    Holderness Inshore MCZ Habitat Mapping Confirm extent/distribution of peat and clay features within Holderness Inshore MCZ Not Active
    Seagrass Restoration on Spurn Assessing the effectiveness of restoring seagrass on Spurn Point, in terms of long-term extent/distribution and species colonisation/wider ecosystem services Active – Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
    MOTUS – Bird Migration at Flamborough Install equipment to monitor migratory birds tagged with Motus technology in Europe, and build capacity for local tagging on passerines and seabirds Partially Active – University of Hull
    Plastics in Seabird Nests What impact does plastic pollution have on the seabirds nesting within F&FC SPA?  How are birds using plastic in nests?  What is the rate of entanglement? Partially Active – YMNP
    Holderness Inshore MCZ Habitat Mapping Mapping of circalittoral rock features (high/moderate energy) Not Active
  • Topic Potential Research Status
    Impacts of recreational activities Monitoring the frequency, type and extent of recreational activities on sensitive habitats and species Active – YMNP
    Shipwrecks of the Yorkshire Coast Raising awareness of important shipwrecks on Yorkshire coast.  How do the shipwrecks of the Yorkshire coast support tourism and nature, through acting as artificial reefs? Not Active
    Microplastics in sediments To what extent are microplastics present in Yorkshire’s coastal sediments?  What are the impacts of this on the ecosystem and food chain? Partially Active – SBC
    Ecological Enhancements How can ecological enhancements be used to ‘green’ hard sea defences and other concrete structures along the coast?  How does this improve species diversity and WFD status? Active – YMNP and Environment Agency
    Yorkshire’s Traditional Fishing Cobles How the sea has shaped communities and fishing practices for generations, and the importance of maintaining that knowledge to inform future marine management Not Active
    Yorkshire’s Whaling History Exploring the uncomfortable past of whaling, to inform future marine management and understanding of human influences on environment Not Active
    Human impacts on shellfish Simulation of human presence/influence on shellfish species (lab-based) Active – Yorkshire Marine Research Centre
    Capturing traditional fishing knowledge How can traditional fisheries knowledge help to inform future marine management? Not Active


View our other active projects and activities

The YMNP works with an ever-growing network of partners to identify key knowledge gaps, develop new projects, support existing activities, and enable innovative progress.

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