What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is simply the web of life on Earth. It comprises a hugely diverse range of species, genes and ecosystems.


Biodiversity means “the variety of life”. North Yorkshire is a large rural county, with varied geology, soils, climate and land use. This gives rise to a range of habitats, including remote moorland, lowland meadows and streams and rugged coastline, which in turn support many varied species, from badgers to beetles and curlews to cowslips.

Woods and Water

Biodiversity is often thought of in terms of numbers of species – the staggering variety of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms found on the planet. To date, 1.75 million species have been formally identified; however scientists think that the real figure is closer to 13 million.


In every ecosystem, living things form communities that interact with each other and with the environment around them. These interactions, operating over millions of years have resulted in the beautiful, habitable world that we live in today, and continue to provide essential ‘services’ that keep our environment in balance, allowing human beings to survive.

Read more about: 
How we depend upon biodiversity.
How you can help improve biodiversity

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