City of York Council is creating an extensive community woodland on 194-acres of land to the West of York with the ambition to plant 50,000 trees by 2023. The project will be known as York Community Woodland until it is formally named.
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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, enhance the setting of the city and make York an even greater place to live, work and visit.
150 acres / 61 hectares of land have been purchased in the west of York for the creation of York Community Woodland and an additional 30 acres of land next to the A1237 is being looked at for additional tree planting.
Together with adjoining land already owned by the council this has the potential to create around 194 acres / 78 hectares of 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.
Photo courtesy of Alex Bankhead.
The land was purchased using part of a £3m Northern Forest budget, agreed at Budget Council in February 2020. In July the council joined the government’s Northern Forest initiative which aims to plant 50 million new trees across the north of England. The initiative is a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission and other organisations committed to tree-planting across the North of England including the White Rose Forest which covers the Leeds City Region and York.
The woodland will enable the council to deliver the following objectives:
- Plant 50,000 trees by 2023 for carbon capture, 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
Have your say
Over the last few months the council has completed a detailed land character assessment. This looked in detail at things like the woodland site’s existing ecology (flora and fauna), heritage assets, landscape, soil types, drainage features and access points. The assessment has given us a good understanding of the opportunities and constraints presented by the site and we have used this information to develop several woodland concept designs.
The site assessment report and concept designs documents below show some of the different ways we could design the woodland to meet the objectives set out above. Recently we delivered the first session of our newly formed Stakeholder Advisory Group. We are working in partnership with a number of experts, local business, organisations and interest groups who will be helping to shape the vision of the woodland.
- Download York Community Woodland Site Assessment Report
- Download York Community Woodland Concept Designs
We are now seeking the views of residents and local organisations to tell us what they think about our plans and ideas in a short survey linked below. We will use the feedback we receive to make recommendations to the council’s Executive about:
- A final ‘community owned’ woodland vision
- The final woodland design plan
- How residents and local groups can be actively involved in creating the woodland
- How people can be involved in the woodland’s ongoing management
As a part of the consultation, residents are also invited to suggest possible names for the new woodland that reflect the heritage of the local area and tie in with the project’s ambitions.
The co-design phase will close 26 May 2021.
To sign up to attend one of our Woodland Webinars on Zoom please email the woodland team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. These short repeated sessions will run through the woodland concept designs and provide time for public feedback and questions. Please see details below and note places are subject to availability.
|27 April 2021||12pm to 1pm||Zoom - Request details|
|4 May 2021||12pm to 1pm||Zoom - Request details|
|11 May 2021||12pm to 1pm||Zoom - Request details|
Key to the successful delivery of the York Community Woodland will be the involvement of the local community in as many ways as possible: shaping the vision; giving views and ideas about what is important for people in the design, layout and features of the woodland; helping plant the trees; getting involved in looking after the woodland and using it as it matures.
So that you can be sure to be involved and kept up to date you can register your interest or contact the York Community Woodland project team using the details below.