City of York Council is creating an extensive community woodland on 195-acres of land to the West of York with the ambition to plant 50,000 trees by 2023. The project has officially been named York Community Woodland.
The woodland has been secured for future generations under the management of Forestry England as the project's delivery partner. For the latest updates on the York Community Woodland project, including any project queries, volunteering opportunities and how to sign up to be kept informed on the woodland’s progress, read the Forestry England York Community Woodland page.
As part of joint objectives to increase green spaces and promote health and wellbeing, Forestry England will be planning, planting and managing the woodland to a specification agreed with City of York Council through a long-term lease of up to 120 years. The woodland will feature the planting of 210,000 trees, one for every resident in York.
York Community Woodland Wins John Boddy Award for Forestry
York Community Woodland won the prestigious John Boddy Award for Forestry in July 2023, celebrating the woodland’s excellence is forestry creation, design and management. The award was announced at the Great Yorkshire Show, after being judged by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Royal Forestry Society and Forestry Commission.
This year’s John Boddy award focused on the best community woodland planted in Yorkshire over the last 15 years. To read more about the woodland creation process at York Community Woodland, stay up to date with the Forestry England newsletter.
Forestry England takes on lead role for engagement activity
The first year of woodland creation has welcomed over 200 residents and community members to the York Community Woodland site. Activities such as woodland walks, wildflower meadow sowing, and tree planting have provided opportunities for people to get involved in developing the woodland. Forestry England as the project’s delivery partner have now taken over management of engagement on the woodland project. They will continue talking to the local community as the woodland’s journey progresses, providing updates and opportunities for York’s residents to get involved in the development of York Community Woodland.
To contact Forestry England email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council’s high-level vision for the woodland is set out below.
The new woodland will be a well-designed, bio-diverse, green space providing a place for peaceful contemplation and leisure for the people of York. This will create a new stray for the city, support the climate change ambition, enhance the setting of the city and make York an even greater place to live, work and visit.
The woodland site consists of 195 acres / 78 hectares which will be used to create the new amenity woodland for York.
The land is west of the village of Knapton and is bounded to the east by the A1237 outer ring road, to the south by the B1224 Wetherby Road except for one field that lies south of the road, to the west by the Harewood Whin disused waste disposal site and to the north by the York to Rufforth bridleway and cycle path.
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City of York Council is part of the White Rose Forest partnership who have supported development of the project.
Photo courtesy of Bankhead Droneography.
The woodland will enable the council to deliver the following objectives:
- plant 50,000 trees by 2023 for carbon capture (absorbing carbon from the atmosphere), as part of a wider commitment to reach net zero carbon by 2030
- increase access to green space in York and improve the health and wellbeing of local residents
- increase biodiversity, wildlife habitats and protect endangered species
- enhance York’s active travel network, including new walking and cycling routes
- opportunities for new green jobs, green skills development and volunteering opportunities
Read the report:
- presented at the 8 September 2021 Executive Member decision session
- presented at the 26 August Executive Member decision session
- York Community Woodland Site Assessment Report - March 2021