Biodiversity is an essential part of safeguarding our water resources and helping reduce the impacts of our operations.


What we're doing

  • We're working hard to find nature based solutions to the challenges we face, including investment in tree planting, peatland restoration and river enhancements.
  • We're committed to preserving and enhancing biodiversity in order to protect our raw water resources and natural heritage.
  • An assessment of our biodiversity projects shows that for every £1 invested in biodiversity projects, society sees £8 of benefits.
  • Investment in the natural environment can boost resilience to both flooding and drought, improves wellbeing and helps to meet the climate change challenge. ​

Why biodiversity matters to Yorkshire Water

As a water company, biodiversity is fundamental to allowing us to provide our core service of delivering a natural resource to our customers and protecting that resource from our impacts.

Biodiversity is the variety of life, be that plants, animals, fungi or micro-organisms, as well as the communities they form and the habitats in which they live. It is essential for people, providing vital services like clean water, carbon storage, underpinning our health and wellbeing and for the intrinsic value of iconic species like salmon or kingfishers.

Ecosystems with high biodiversity can more efficiently recycle water, oxygen and carbon and contain a thriving community of species. Enhancing biodiversity, for example by creating farmland buffer strips along watercourses, can protect our raw water resources and boost resilience to flooding.

Due to the size and scale of our operations, our construction programme and our landholdings, we are in a unique position to cause large positive or negative impacts on biodiversity. This is a responsibility we take extremely seriously, and we endeavour to help encourage wildlife and plants across the region to thrive. We also have a responsibility to protect and enhance the biodiversity to safeguard the ecosystems on which we and future generations will rely.

The below points are an indication of how vast and varied the Yorkshire landscape is and indeed the scale of our responsibilities:

  • Over 11,000 hectares of our land are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) covering around 40% of our estate.
  • We abstract from and discharge into a number of Special Areas of Conservation, including the internationally important Humber Estuary Ramsar site.
  • Over 1,100 km of statutory rights of way pass over our land and we have a duty to help promote people’s engagement with and enjoyment of biodiversity.
  • 462 species of national or international conservation importance are found in Yorkshire, with around 50% of species and habitats of principal importance in England being found on our land.

Take a look at how we are working with partners to benefit biodiversity across Yorkshire.