It’s hard to believe that just beyond the city walls lays York’s very own 24 acre nature reserve, St Nicholas Fields. Consider the abundance of wildlife, towering trees and tranquil water courses and it becomes even more difficult to believe that just over ten years ago this same reserve was a land tip, overflowing with our throw outs. Once a mound for our junk, it only took a few years once the site closed in 1974 for nature to resurge and make back its claim, and that’s where the local community stepped it.
This is what is possible. Within a mere decade the Friends of St Nicholas Fields and hundreds of volunteers have taken the urban site and created a haven for sustainable living, even with its own Environment Centre. Now thriving, the centre hosts green-focused events across the year, as well as providing advice on composting, recycling, renewable energy and anything and everything that helps York a step closer to a more conscious, and sustainable lifestyle. In an irony of man-made being triumphed by mother nature, St Nicholas Field is proof that city living can be green.
But taking care of 24-acres is no garden-party, and in order to keep improving and maintaining the reserve everyone pitches in, and there are never too many hands to do so. St Nicks are always on the lookout for volunteers who’d be happy to lend their green fingers to what is a rather larger than average back-garden. No experience of gardening or conservation is required, just enthusiasm. And in return the team promise lots of cups of tea, gratitude, and the training where needed. For those interested, and ready to learn, volunteers meet every Tuesday – Thursday from 9.30-4pm taking on tasks from planting, path building and the occasional coppicing.
To get involved, or find out more information, simply click on the ‘Volunteer Today’ button at the right-hand side of this article and fill in your details.