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York gets gold in City Nature Challenge

Posted on 16 May 2024

York has gained gold in the largest biodiversity competition in the world, the City Nature Challenge.

Competing against 690 cities around the world and 24 cities in the UK, York achieved great success due to the efforts of participating organisations, groups, student and staff volunteers who recorded observations of birds, plants, fungi and insects in their gardens, streets and parks. 

The competition encouraged people to contribute to better understanding of urban ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.

York took first place in the UK for the number of species found, with 1,487 different species, demonstrating the amazing diversity of wildlife in the city. 

Between the 24 cities competing in the UK, for number of observers, York came in third place with 221 people making observations, and came in second for total of observations, with 12,833.

York’s City Nature Challenge was organised by Dr Smriti Safaya (Stockholm Environment Institute), John Terenzini, an independent citizen science researcher, and Erin McDonagh, a third year Biology student.

Numerous organisations around York hosted biodiversity events across the four days of the competition, and supporting partners included City of York Council, York College, River Foss Society, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Foss Fairy Trail, St Nicks, Friends of Rowntree Park, Environmental Sustainability at York, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), YorkCares, EcoChurches, Scouts, Move the Masses and Friends of Hagg Wood.