LUCKY visitors to one of the Yorkshire Dale's most famous landmarks, Malham Cove, may from next week be able to soar to new heights by studying the fastest animal on earth, the majestic peregrine falcon.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) have teamed up to provide a special viewpoint at the cove from where visitors can watch peregrine falcons which - it is hoped - will soon start nesting.
If so, volunteers will be on hand every day to show visitors the birds. They will be setting up high-powered telescopes so that visitors can watch the progress of the falcons throughout the season. Everyone is welcome to come and see the birds and it's all free.
The peregrine falcon is the Ferrari of the bird world. It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the world's fastest animal - peregrine falcons have been clocked at flight speeds of up to 217 mph (350 km/h).
A pair of peregrines has nested at the famous beauty spot for over a decade and it is expected that the birds will breed there again this year. If the birds nest then the area around the Cove is the hunting ground of the adult birds and the training area for their young.
Sharon Batty of the RSPB said: "Peregrines are tremendously exciting birds and wherever these fabulous falcons nest there's always something dramatic happening. Lots of holidaymakers, walkers and school groups visit Malham Cove every year and they now have the opportunity to see some stunning birds as well as the sensational scenery.
To watch this amazing spectacle, visit the viewpoint at the foot of Malham Cove any day from Tuesday 3rd May to Sunday 24th-July. The Dales Peregrine Watch team will be there seven days a week from 10.30 am to 4.30pm.
For further information about the project contact Sharon Batty of the RSPB's North of England Office on 0191 233 4300.