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St Nicholas Fields Local Nature Reserve - Parks and open spaces directory


St Nicholas Fields Local Nature Reserve
Rawdon Avenue
YO10 3ST


This 24-acre site, was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2004. In the Middle Ages, this land was open fields, grazed by the cattle belonging to the monks from St. Nicholas Hospital. Since then it has been a brick works, the city rubbish dump and an unofficial wild site. Now reclaimed and home to a wide range of species, developing habitats including meadows and woodland.


St Nicholas Fields provides a brilliant open space within what would otherwise be a built-up residential and industrial area. The site is 24 acres in size and has plenty of different routes that you can take. St. Nicks has a wide range of fruit trees and hedgerows that bear fruit, so why not take an ID book and collect some natural treats as you wander around? There's also the visitor centre on site, which can make for an interesting break during your walk! Although the paths are generally well looked after and lined with either bark chip or hardcore, we would recommend good sturdy boots for your walk around the site.


Birds - goldfinches, chaffinches, bullfinches, bramblings, siskins, robins, wrens, sparrows, dunnocks, blackbirds, song and mistle thrushes. Migrant redwings can be seen in winter.

Butterflies - common blue butterfly, holly blue butterfly, orange tip butterfly, ringlet butterfly, meadow brown butterfly.

How to get involved

For more information about the site or how to get involved, contact the Friends of St Nicholas Fields or contact on tel: 01904 411821.

  • York Environment Centre, a sustainable community centre with many energy saving features and sustainability display. The centre is open most days subject to staffing
  • base of community recycling and composting projects
  • toilets in York Environment Centre

Open access. The paths are accessible by wheelchair.

Travel and parking


Buses frequently run from the city centre. Alight at Alcuin Avenue or Melrosegate.

For up-to-date information about local bus routes see the iTravel York website.

By bike or foot

Access to the site is along the Foss Islands Cycle Route or from Lawrence Street via Bull Lane.


There is a small car park at the site. The entrance is from Melrosegate via Rawdon or Harrington Avenue.

You can also use available on-street parking in the surrounding streets, showing consideration for local residents.

Managed by
The Friends of St Nicholas Fields with the help of City of York Council