Great North Way Reed Bed

This small reed bed is easily missed and the wildlife living here is almost unknown. Only the banded demoiselle damselfly has been recorded here. There is the potential to record some less common species of birds here.

Cared for by:

Great North Way Ponds

A little known site with two seasonal ponds now mostly surrounded by trees. Great crested newts, toads and more than 20 kinds of aquatic beetle have been recorded in the area. A path around the edges of the pond has been planted with colourful meadow flowers. A small grassy recreational area with goal posts is adjacent to the ponds.

Cared for by:

Academy Drive Pond

A little known pond in the middle of a housing development. The pond is surrounded by trees and no information about the local wildlife has been recorded. As some of trees are quite old the site may attract some interesting wildlife.

Cared for by:


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

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


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.