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

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.
See https://www.itravelyork.info/downloads/file/55/bishopthorpe-to-acaster-malbis-return

Acaster South Ings

The flood meadows just to the south of Acaster Malbis are a nationally important Site of Special Scientific Interest. The meadows are home to the tansy beetle and other uncommon flora and fauna. Curlews are known to breed here. The meadows are mown at the end of June or in early July each year. A public footpath runs along the east edge of the flood meadows. On the opposite side of the river Naburn Weir and Lock can be seen. The site is accessible via a track at the southern end of Acaster Malbis.

Cared for by:
Private landowner

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

Foss Islands Nature Reserve

Formerly part of a great man-made swamp that protected the eastern side of York Foss Islands Nature Reserve is home to a variety of water birds including swans and geese. On the Hungate side of the river a walking trail has several interpretation boards providing information about local wildlife and colourful wild flowers have been planted beside the trail.

Cared for by:
City of York Council

Heslington Church

The space around the church has mature and young trees, a wildflower meadow and short cut grass. One Oak in particular is several hundred years old.

Cared for by:
Heslington Church

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:

Heathside

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