Leeside Play Area

This site is a play area suitable for younger children, with a variety of play equipment including a slide, swings and climbing facilities.

Cared for by:
City of York Council

Deans Park

Hidden behind the adjacent towering York Minster Dean’s Park is a great place for a picnic or for relaxing. The park features great views of York Minster and other adjacent historic buildings. Whilst not obviously a flower-rich site the park is covered with colourful crocus flowers in February and early March. Plentiful seating is available and street vendors sell ice-cream and drinks nearby.

Cared for by:
The Dean and Chapter of York Minster

Poppleton Community Railway Nursery

Poppleton Community Railway Nursery is the UK’s last surviving nursery railway. There are plants grown and for sale, and a small garden.

It is located close to the railway station in Upper Poppleton, near York, and is operated by a charitable group as a not-for-profit organisation. It is staffed almost entirely by volunteers.The nursery grows plants for public sale, produces hanging baskets to order and, in the run-up to Christmas, sells seasonal items such as wreaths. Other sales include a range of craft items, jewellery, cards, decorations for the home and a variety of turned woodwork items.

The nursery is unique in having a narrow gauge railway within its site, originally constructed for moving plants and compost but now operated as an attraction in its own right.The first known railway nursery in the York area was started around 1880 by the North Eastern Railway adjacent to the then new York North steam shed (now the site of the National Railway Museum). This produced flowers and vegetables for use in various sites in the York area, including the new hotel and station. The nursery moved to Poppleton in 1941 when part of the station’s goods yard was transformed into an area to produce food for railway workers’ canteens and railway owned hotels. Wooden greenhouses, cold frames and an office were moved to the site from various locations.

Cared for by:
Poppleton Community Railway Nursery

Things to help out with here:
Much of the work is on-going and includes the general maintenance and development of the nursery site and horticultural business, but there are also one-off tasks such as painting, path and building maintenance, helping with sales and open days and seasonal work such as making baskets in spring and decorations and wreaths at Christmas.

North Street Gardens

If you are looking for a quiet place to sit down right in the city centre then North Street Gardens is a good choice. The gardens have plenty of seating, trees providing shade and there are excellent views of passing boats and The Guildhall just across the river. The gardens are unusual in that they feature a broken water pump, which commemorates the work of Dr John Snow, who in the 19th century proved that cholera was a water-borne disease by removing the water pump handle from a site in London with a high incidence of cholera. The outbreak came to an end. In 2003 Dr Snow was voted by UK doctors as the greatest physician of all time.

Cared for by:
City of York Council

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

Stillingfleet Lodge Garden and nursery is an organically managed, wildlife friendly, family garden close to York. The gardens are very colourful in the summer and have an abundance of wildlife. The owners have put up lists of all the kinds of wildlife that can be seen in the gardens. There is a small admission charge to visit the garden. The plant nursery can be visited without going into the garden. A cycle rack is available for anyone visiting the gardens by bike.
Please note that no dogs are allowed other than assistance dogs.
The Gardens can be reached by catching the number 42 bus to Drax from Piccadilly.
Stillingfleet can also be reached by cycling along the York to Selby cycle path and taking the B1222 road which passes York Marina, goes through Naburn and then continues to Stillingfleet.

Cared for by:
Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens & Nurseries

Warthill Village Duck Pond

A traditional village duck pond. This pond is adjacent to the village pub, so refreshments are available nearby. The pond is close to several public footpaths and quiet cycling routes, so a nice place to take a break if out for a leisure ride or walk in this area.

Weir Pond

This is a traditional village duck pond with a range of flowers including yellow flag, marsh marigold and bulrushes. A nice spot to take a break if out for a walk or cycle ride. Several public footpaths are nearby.

Cared for by:
Holtby Parish Council

Three Hagges Woodmeadow

In the past woodmeadows were a common feature of the English landscape. Now a rarity, work to create the current woodmeadow began in 2012. The site has an abundance of flowers with trees and shrubs scattered across the meadow areas. Being adjacent to woodland the woodmeadow attracts a wide variety of wildlife and butterflies and other insects are abundant here. The Woodmeadow Trust looks after this site together with a keen group of volunteers. The meadow is also a great outdoor classroom for the teaching of children and adults about nature. Access to the site is via a road leading to Hollicarrs Holiday Park. The entrance to Three Hagges Woodmeadow is at the end of the road on the left. The site is within walking distance of Riccall (about 1 mile) or can be reached via the York to Riccall cyclepath (The Planets Route). The adjacent caravan site has a tearooms with toilets that is open to all and has food and toilet facilities available throughout the day. See the Facebook page below.

Please note that dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a short lead and must not be allowed in the pond. The site may be unsuitable for some kinds of wheelchair, but a buggy is available for disabled people to use

Cared for by:
The Woodmeadow Trust

Things to help out with here:
Wildlife Site Management

Breezy Knees Garden

One of the largest gardens in the North of England, Breezy Knees is Yorkshire’s answer to Kew Gardens. Covering over 20 acres the site features a maze of interconnected garden areas each with its own style including a rock garden, cottage garden, rose garden, a pond, a lake and much more. Over 7000 different kinds of plant can be seen growing in the gardens. Extensive flower beds and a wildflower meadow make the gardens a blaze of colour throughout the summer. Please note that no dogs are allowed into the gardens other than guide dogs. The gardens also have a café serving refreshments and a plant nursery. Please check the website for opening times and prices. Whilst these gardens are not close to a bus stop they are within easy cycling distance of York.

Cared for by:
Private Landowner

Things to help out with here:
Garden management

Joseph Rowntree Walk and Flood Plain

A long riverside footpath and cycle track leading from the city centre all the way out to Skelton. This section goes between Scarborough rail and bike bridge to Water end, and has a large flood plain with levy banks. There are many mature and young trees including, Lombardy Poplar, Willow, Lime, Maple and Walnut. This area regularly floods in the winter.