Askham Bog weekend celebration

Askham Bog (C) Kirsten Smith

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are inviting its supporters and people living near their Askham Bog reserve to a special open weekend on the evening of Friday 14th and during Saturday 15th September.

Experts and local natural history specialists Professor Sir John Lawton and Professor Alastair Fitter will be on hand to give guided walks, show more about the special wildlife and plants found on the site and answer any questions people have. There will also be pond dipping, owl pellet analysis and other activities for children.

Askham Bog is Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s oldest reserve and one of the richest places for wildlife in Yorkshire. For its size, this wet and peaty nature reserve lying just inside the York ring road, has more species of plants and animals than anywhere else in the county, which continue to thrive and become established there.  It is home to many rare and unusual insects and has rich birdlife including reed warblers and breeding buzzards. In winter, huge flocks of siskins and redpolls feed on alder seeds.  Visitors are also likely to see roe deer and, if lucky, a shy water vole.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have arranged this free event as a celebration of the reserve and as a thank you to its many supporters.  The site is under threat from potential housing development on the land between the Bog and Woodthorpe.  As peatland, Askham Bog and its wildlife and habitat depends on the water table being high. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and supporters of Askham Bog are concerned about the impacts a housing development and the subsequent lowering of the water table would have. 

Louise Wilkinson, Policy and Campaigns Manager at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said;

“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the event at Askham Bog – it really is a jewel in the crown of wildlife sites – a very special place which is loved and enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages. This event will help people to see more wildlife and hear about why the reserve and its unique mosaic of wetland habitat is so special.

“We are very concerned about the impact local development could have on the site and are offering advice and expertise to York City Council, developers and decision makers to show why the site deserves ongoing protection.”

Sir David Attenborough visited the reserve on its 70th birthday in 2016 and said, “Building houses next to Askham Bog would be like putting a supermarket next to York Minster.”

People can meet at Askham Bog car park at 7.30pm for a bat walk and moth trapping event on Friday. On Saturday, hourly guided walks will run from Askham Bog car park between 10am-3pm on Saturday.