Askham Bog at risk again - Sir David Attenborough says ancient bog must be protected

Described as "irreplaceable" by Sir David Attenborough, Askham Bog nature reserve in York is once again under threat.

Described as "irreplaceable" by Sir David Attenborough, Askham Bog nature reserve in York is once again under threat.

Developers have appealed the City of York council’s unanimous decision not to build a housing development adjacent to the globally significant nature reserve, managed by wildlife charity Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

If allowed, the development will fundamentally and irreversibly alter the delicate ecosystem of the bog. For its size, Askham Bog is the richest place in Yorkshire for wildlife: 1 in 20 of all UK species are represented here, including rare royal ferns over 100 years old.

So much of the natural world is in peril and now, more than ever before, ancient places like Askham Bog, rich in biodiversity, must be protected. It is hugely valued by the people of York and by all naturalists and is part of our cultural and natural heritage. It is our collective responsibility to save it. I would urge all those who love the natural world to support Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who are fighting for it.
Sir David Attenborough
David Attenborough at Askham Bog

(c) Tom Marshall

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is strongly objecting to the development and is launching a crowdfunder to raise the £15,000 needed to hire legal representation and conduct an essential ground water survey.

Sir David Attenborough called Askham Bog a "cathedral of nature conservation" when he visited in 2016. A remnant of Yorkshire's ancient fenlands (it occupies the site of an ancient lake, left behind by a retreating glacier 15,000 years ago), an extraordinary number of plants and animals thrive within its lush 120 acres.

More than 7,600 people objected to developers Barwood Land’s plans to build 500 homes next door to Askham Bog, and in July 2019 all thirteen City of York councillors unanimously refused the application. Askham Bog nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is globally recognised haven for wildlife.

We want to raise the bar on how we create places for people, and the way we live with nature. Askham Bog is Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s first and oldest nature reserve, and our reason for being. We are asking the people of York to help us protect it. Our natural world is in serious danger, and the time has come for us to stop taking away from it, and start giving back instead.
Rachael Bice, CEO
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust