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.

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

Leeman Park

A large area of flood plain with long grasses, wildflowers, well established Weeping Willows and Lombardy Poplar, and young stands of new woodland. There is a paved public cycle and footpath leading from the centre of town to Jubilee terrace, and a footpath/track following the river as far as Water End and around to the RSPCA kennels.

The Friends of Leeman Park are a newly formed group of volunteers from around the Leeman Road Area. The volunteers all have a shared vision to improve and maintain their local area. The map on this page shows the areas the group have committed to working on. The group intend to work in Back Park and the Cycle Way into town from the Leeman Road area.

Friends of Leeman Park are always looking for volunteers. As much or as little as you wish to give will be beneficial to their group and community. They’re looking for all different types of people, practical people who can help with maintenance on the ground, as well as people who are interested in taking an administrative or planning role.

Cared for by:
Friends of Leeman Park

Things to help out with here:

Goddards, Tadcaster Road
Fenby Field

A well-hidden green space accessed from Cornwall Drive, off Danum Road. The area is mainly grassy with clumps of trees and bushes, suitable for children to run around or for an informal game of football.

Cared for by:
City of York Council

Things to help out with here:
General site management.

Foxwood Park

Informal parkland, divided by an asphalt pathway that links Foxwood with Woodthorpe. Mainly grassland edged on 4 sides by mature trees. A wildflower area is under development and snowdrops appear in late February followed by daffodils in spring. Sloes and blackberries appear later in the year. No swings or slides for children but there is a single goal post. Some park benches have been provided by Foxwood Residents’ Association.

Cared for by:
City of York Council and the Foxwood Residents Association Volunteers

Things to help out with here:
Litter picking, pruning, nettle & bramble control
Volunteers meet at Foxwood Community Centre garden, Saturday mornings 10:30 till 12:30 mid March to mid October

Askham Bryan Pond

A traditional village pond believed to have been dug in medieval times. a nice place to take a break when out walking or cycling in the area.

Cared for by:
Askham Bryan Parish Council

Things to help out with here:
Pond maintenance

Hull Road Park

A traditional park with flowerbeds, grassy areas, tennis courts and a children’s play area. A stream running along the edge of the park is being managed for wildlife by a keen group of volunteers.

Cared for by:
City of York Council

Things to help out with here:
Park management, planting flowers

Fulford Community Orchard

Fulford Community Orchard is what remains of the old orchard that originally belonged to Naburn Hospital. Many of the trees were planted some ninety-plus years ago. When the hospital was demolished in the 1980s to make way for York Designer Outlet the orchard was neglected and uncared for. Later saved from development, over fifty trees have survived (a mixture of plums, damson, pear and apple). They have become the basis of a community orchard for Fulford.

Cared for by:
Friends of York Community Orchard

Things to help out with here:
Fruit picking and site management