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.

Church Ings SSSI

Church Ings is a nationally important site, yet little known locally. These flood meadows are of particular importance for their neutral grassland plant community which is an increasingly rare habitat type, threatened nationally as a result of drainage and agricultural improvement. Plants found at the site include meadowsweet, ragged robin and common sedge. Whilst the meadows themselves have no public access, they can be seen from a riverside public footpath which runs between Bishopthorpe and Acaster Malbis, passing this site.

Cared for by:
Privately owned

The route described in the Exploring York leaflet Bishopthorpe to Acaster Malbis passes this site.

Heslington Tillmire

Just to the south of Fulford Golf Course is a nationally important wet meadow known as Heslington Tilmire. The site is important for a wide variety of birds including lapwing, snipe, redshank and curlew. Barn owls can sometimes be seen hunting in the area. Public footpaths run along the edges of the site. Please note that this is a sensitive site with ground nesting birds and sheep grazing the field during the summer so please don’t allow dogs off their leads.

Cared for by:
Natural England

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.


This little-known site is accessible from New Lane, just south of Heathside. The site features flower-rich meadows and an abundance of ponds. An unsurfaced path follows the site perimeter creating a circular walk.

Goddards, Tadcaster Road
Germany Beck Ponds

A recently created green space just to the south of the new Germany Beck Housing development. The site features two large grassy meadows and several large ponds which are now attracting a good variety of wildlife. Water voles live in the area and a special island has been created especially for this species A surfaced track runs along the edge of the site.

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

Poppleton Duck Pond

A traditional village pond with many ducks. The site have a bench and is a nice place to sit and relax whilst watching the pond wildlife. The pond is adjacent to the historic Poppleton Tithebarn and Poppleton Millennium Green.

Cared for by:

Naburn Marsh

A nationally important floodplain meadow with a public footpath around the edge of the site. A great place to see an abundance of flowers such as meadow cranesbill or butterbur in spring.

The site is along one of St Nicks Green Corridors projects so there may be some volunteering opportunities soon. See

A walking leaflet with a route passing through this site can be found at

Cared for by:
Privately owned but has public footpaths around and through the site