St Nicholas Fields LNR

A small 10-acre site in the heart of York, 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. It now includes a wide diversity of habitats, including grassy meadow; coarse tussocky grassland; wildflower-rich margins; stands of tall herbs; hedgerow; scrub; young woodland; some older, larger trees; Osbaldwick and Tang Hall Beck; some patches that almost have a heathy feel, with Gorse Ulex europaeus and Broom Cytisus scoparius; and the human embellishments of boulders, bricks, rubble, tarmac, concrete and gravel. The reserve has a history of species recording since around 2012, with weekly two-hour surveys on Wednesday mornings by the local Wildwatch group generating long-term datasets for many different taxonomic groups, including nationally under-recorded groups such as slugs, snails, microfungi, leaf-miners and gall-causers. Many rare and unusual species have been discovered even in this small reserve, with numerous species found new to the vice-county or even all Yorkshire.

Last modified: 

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - 14:18
Sam Buckton's picture



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