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

Danesmead Wood

A small area of woodland of mixed trees including fruit trees and also a wild flower meadow. Used by the local schools for Forest School and by the local community. The Friends organise events throughout the year and always welcome new volunteers.

Cared for by:
Friends of Danesmead Wood

Things to help out with here:
Litter picking, maintenance of footpaths, maintenance of specific areas such as wildflower meadow

St Nicholas Fields Local Nature Reserve

Visitors to St Nicholas Fields may not immediately realise that this local nature reserve was formerly a rubbish tip. The area has since been transformed and is now a wildlife haven in the centre of York. Many birds live on or visit the nature reserve and just under 20 species of butterflies have been recorded. Tits, finches, thrushes, robins and wrens – nest on or regularly visit the site. Water voles are present, but it needs a mixture of luck and patience to see one. Over 200 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants have been recorded on the reserve including cowslips, tansy, teasel, field scabious and yarrow

Cared for by:
Friends of St Nicholas Fields

Things to help out with here:
Nature Reserve Management, scything, species survey, litter picking etc. See the website for latest information

Strensall Common SSSI

Strensall Common is a large area of lowland heathland in the York area, primarily on acidic sandy soils and has a range of habitats such as wet and dry grassland, scattered birch, gorse and pine, heather and scattered ponds and marshy areas. The southern part is more open with mown and rough grassland which is used for the firing ranges, but with some areas of open birch and pine woodland. This diversity has meant it has been recognised as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for its populations of nationally important insects and plants.

The nature reserve supports a mosaic of wet heath, dry heath, mire, open water, woodland and acid grassland. Over 150 plant species grow here including marsh cinquefoil, the beautiful blue marsh gentian and carnivorous round-leaved sundew. Ling heather and cross-leaved heath turn the heathland purple in August. Less showy, but just as pretty are the flowers found within some of the drier grassland; pinky-red sheep’s sorrel and the tiny white crosses of heath bedstraw can be seen if you look closely.

Bold Southern hawker dragonflies patrol sheltered sunny areas and common lizards lazily bask on the old birch stumps. The Common is home to a host of insects including a nationally important population of dark-bordered beauty moth. Green and purple hairstreak butterflies occur here and bog bush-cricket live in the rushy grassland. Birds using the site include woodlark, green woodpecker, stonechat, coal and willow tits. Cuckoo breed and hobby sightings are increasing.

More information from
York Ornithological Club
Freshwater Habitats Trust
Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire

Cared for by:
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Ministry of Defence

Things to help out with here:
Butterfly and moth recording. Pond life recording. Nature Reserve Management
More than one organization undertakes activities involving volunteers at this site