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.

Vangarde Newt Ponds

Prior to the construction of the Vangarde Shopping Centre, endangered great-crested newts were found to occupy the site. A series of new ponds were created especially for the newts and these now provide a home for the newts as well as other aquatic wildlife. The ponds are located along the southern and eastern edges of the Vanguarde site and can be viewed from adjacent footpaths.

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

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