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.
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 (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
For updates on the York Community Woodland project please visit Latest news.