Biodiversity is important because it provides mankind with food, medicine, materials and other essential goods. It also provides us with many ecosystem services, including the provision of clean air, soil and water and protection from flooding and coastal erosion.
Biodiversity may also potentially help us to adapt to climate change by storing and absorbing carbon and by mopping up some of the damaging effects it may have. The natural environment provides the East Riding with its sense of place, making it an attractive location for people to live, work and visit, and potentially bringing economic investment from tourism and regeneration. Apart from the many benefits biodiversity provides, it is also important in its own right.
The East Riding has a rich and varied biodiversity that is nationally and internationally important.
Some well-known examples include:
- ancient flood meadows of the Lower Derwent Valley
- chalk grasslands of the Wolds
- wetlands of the River Hull Valley
- mudflats and saltmarshes of the Humber Estuary
- towering chalk cliffs of Flamborough Headland.
The varied habitats of the East Riding support a range of important species such as strongholds for water voles and otters, rare invertebrates including tansy beetle and dingy skipper butterfly, farmland birds such as barn owl and the UK’s largest mainland seabird nesting colony with gannets, kittiwakes, razorbills and puffins.