Victory for Askham Bog!
On the 13th May 2020, we found out the Secretary of State agreed with the Inspector’s recommendation that the appeal be dismissed, meaning that Askham Bog is protected for the future.
We are overjoyed - Askham Bog will now continue to thrive as a special place for wildlife and the people of York for years to come.
As a member of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, you gave us your voice in the campaign to save and protect this wonderful place. Together, our 46,000 voices have helped to make this happen.
Thank you so much - you have helped to give Askham Bog the victory it deserves.
It's remarkable that such a rich site should be so close to the city. A miraculous survival! We're lucky enough to have inherited it from past centuries, and it surely should be protected. It's a great treasure.
A huge thank you
We’d like to thank City of York Council for all of their time and effort representing Askham Bog at the public inquiry in November.
We can’t thank our members and supporters enough for their continued and unwavering support of Askham Bog. Our fundraiser raised an incredible £39,000, allowing us to make the strongest possible case at the public inquiry. And last January, over 7,000 people stood with us in objecting to the proposals because of irreversible damage to the wonderful Askham Bog Site of Special Scientific Interest – a truly exceptional place for wildlife.
A victory for the natural world
Our vision is to protect and restore our natural world, help wildlife to thrive and ensure a greener future for us all. In the midst of the current climate emergency, and recognising the joy that nature is providing at the current time, the decision to protect Askham Bog is a welcome step in the right direction.
An irreplaceable gem
Sir David Attenborough called it a "cathedral of nature conservation" when he visited in 2016. A remnant of Yorkshire's ancient fenlands, it's extraordinary how many plants and animals thrive here. Despite its small size, Askham Bog is the richest place in Yorkshire for wildlife. Only minutes from the centre of York, it's a haven for wildlife and people alike.
The whole story
In 2018, a planning application was made to City of York Council for a development of more than 500 homes on Moor Lane, an area that sits next to Askham Bog. This development could have devastating consquences for Askham Bog, an ecologically important and hugely loved nature reserve.
7,000 people signed our petition in January 2019, urging the council to refuse the planning application. It was clear that Askham Bog is a truly special place both for people and for wildlife.
In July 2019, we were thrilled that the City of York Council unanimously refused the planning application for development next to Askham Bog.
Devastatingly, the developers appealed this decision. A Public Inquiry took place over three weeks in November 2019, where Yorkshire Wildlife Trust represented Askham Bog alongside City of York Council.
The Public Inquiry took place at The Citadel, Gillygate, York YO31 7EA from Tuesday 12th until Thursday 28th November 2019.
We are hugely grateful to City of York Council for all of their time and effort representing Askham Bog.
Thanks to public support and generosity Yorkshire Wildlife Trust could put forward the strongest case for Askham Bog and its wildlife at this Inquiry. Launching in October, our fundraising appeal to #SaveAskhamBog raised £39,000, allowing us to cover all remaining associated legal costs of the Inquiry.
We were able to present stronger scientific evidence thanks to Alex Jones (a chartered geologist and part of JBA Consulting’s hydrogeology team), expert witnesses Professor Sir John Lawton and Professor Alastair Fitter, and first-rate planning advice.
We also secured excellent legal representation from Emma-Louise Fenelon and Darragh Coffey of 1 Crown Office Row Chambers, who provided their time and expertise pro bono. We are truly grateful for their support.
The Planning Inspector made a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in February 2020.
Please find below some of the relevant documents for the Public Inquiry.