Thanks to a gratefully received grant from Yorventure (raised through Yorwaste Ltd) Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has been able to carry out essential maintenance and improvements at a key nature reserve only a short drive from York City Centre.
Askham Bog, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, was the charity’s first reserve, opening in 1946, and has been managed ever since in order to conserve the important fenland habitat and to provide a green space – vital to the health and wellbeing of local residents.
The recent works have included new features that will significantly improve visitors’ experience.
New visitor facilities have been installed with a new gateway, information signs, benches and improvements to the existing boardwalk - all allowing greater access to more people wishing to visit the unique site, and also enabling visitors to get close to some of the reserve’s rarities such as the royal fern without having a detrimental effect on the habitat.
Project lead Jo Milborrow from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said: “Much of this project’s success is down to our fabulous volunteers and trainees who have worked hard over the summer to install the new facilities. A regular volunteer group turned out regardless of the weather to remove large sections of the old boardwalk and to replace it with a new one. The Trust’s trainees got involved in the works by installing benches, gates and new fencing.”
Now, with autumn in full swing, is a great time to go and see the enhancements to this beautiful patch of tranquillity on the edge of our city. As the trees change colour and berries ripen there is a better chance of seeing feeding birds, such as thrushes, goldfinches and siskins. There is also always the chance of seeing a roe deer amongst the trees, a fox running over the fields or squirrels and Jays caching acorns. Autumn is also the perfect time for spotting flourishing mushrooms and fungi.
The flora and fauna found at Askham Bog is of national importance and is a well-respected educational and research resource. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust works regularly at Askham Bog with local volunteers and other groups who help with visitor engagement and the management of this wonderful habitat.