Exploring York's hidden green spaces Take me on a local walk I don't know about... Lockdown number three is not something any of us feel good about. But still being able to walk with a friend, in our beautiful city, is something that is sure to lift us all. Most of us know about the Knavesmire (Racecourse), the walk along the river to Millennium Bridge, Hob Moor, Museum Gardens and Rowntree Park, but did you know there are lots and lots of other hidden green gems worth exploring on foot? I had a few in mind I wanted to share with you, but when I then asked our amazing volunteers for some of their fave spots, they came up with places even I haven’t been to, and I have lived and walked in York for most of my adult life! Wherever you live in the city, here are some places for you to discover: NORTH YORK Clifton Ings Although there are various ways to enter Clifton Ings, the closest from the city centre is just beside Clifton Bridge on Water End (opposite the Youth Hostel), a narrow riverside footpath that leads up to a big expanse of grassland, the river carving a natural boundary on the west and a good cycle track heading North along the east. Used as a temporary storage area for flood water when the Ouse is up, the Ings are a great place for running, walking, cycling and dog walks. And when it floods, it is still fun to run/walk on! Clifton Ings for me. Considering it's just a massive field with no defining features, it looks different every single time I go. From the crisp winter mornings with massive skies, to the wild flowers and cow-dodging in the summer. Great place for a walk, run or as a gateway to get out of the town...Ed Rawcliffe Lake A seven acre site, hidden away close to Clifton Moor, perfect to get away from it all. I’m a fan of a wander around Rawcliffe Lake. Seems to be a well kept secret...Danny New Earswick Nature Reserve & surrounds Nestled to the South of New Earswick, just off the Haxby Road is New Earswick Nature Reserve. Close by are fields to further your wanderings and the Foss. New Earswick and the cow fields between there and Huntington are lovely...Kathryn Yesss, New Earswick has a proper little English hamlet feel to it!... James The route of the Foss Much quieter and less know than the Ouse riverside paths, the whole route of the Foss has paths alongside it through Heworth, Huntington, New Earswick, Haxby and beyond. Those wanting to stretch their legs even further can add a trip on to the lovely Strensall Common as well. The whole of the route along the Foss is great...Nikki Millennium Green, Nether Poppleton We often walk around Millennium Green in Nether Poppleton and it’s very quiet. God spot for dog walking too...Barbara EAST YORK St Nicks St Nicks, located between James Street, Hull Road, Melrosegate and Fifth Avenue is a thriving local Nature Reserve, transformed from a former landfilll site. Easy to get lost in, and with some lovely surprises along the way, it is also home to an excellent Environment Centre providing lots of activities, events and services in non-Covid times. Heworth Holme Heworth Holme is six acres of wet grassland located alongside the Tang Hall Beck with a small wood on higher ground. The area is happily protected from development because of its regular winter flooding. Heworth Holme and the line of green space along Tang Hall beck is very nice. You can do all the way from Stray Road to Melrosegate then nip across to the cycle path and St Nick's for a longer walk or to go into town...Nikki York Cemetery York Cemetery is a quiet, green oasis located just 5 minutes walk from the city walls in Fishergate. Huge mature trees, winding paths, rare plants, beautiful obelisks and plenty of benches make this 24 acre grade II* listed landscape a haven of tranquility and wonder for anyone who fancies a close-to-the-city stroll, or some quiet contemplation. There's lots of wildlife too. Walmgate Stray A small gate, something you could easily miss, located half way up Heslington Road in Fishergate, leads you up to Lamel Hill and one of those surprising views in York. With Low Moor Allotments on your right and a row of mature trees and the Retreat on your left, walking down the hill takes you out to a large open space, with paths criss crossing over it. A cycle track runs from Fulford Road to the University. From Heslington Road, 15 minutes from the city centre, you can walk down Lamel Hill, across the Stray, up through the Golf Course, onto the Tilmire and beyond - And then link with the Outgang in Heslington or Germany Beck in Fulford. It really feels like the a whole green corridor out of the city...Bec The Quiet Place, York University (Heslington End) These wonderful clipped yew trees are located just next to The Quiet Place near to Heslington Hall at the University of York. You find it as you walk to the far end of the University, or can access it from Heslington Lane. The Outgang, Heslington If you walk south in Heslington village, beyond the Cricket Club and playing field you get to a lovely country path called The Outgoing from which you can discover woods, further country paths and more. Oooh, shout-out for the Outgang as well. Only discovered it recently. Great for a walk...Ed SOUTH YORK Danesmead Wood A five minute walk from Millennium Bridge on the Fulford side sees you enter the glorious Danesmead wood, lovingly maintained by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. There's a lover's lane, swing ropes and lots of little nooks and crannies to discover. Bishopthorpe Palace If you head along the river on the South Bank side, beyond Rowntree Park and the Millennium Bridge, you can follow a lovely curve of the Ouse, skirting underneath the A64 and into Bishopthorpe Village. If you then bob down Chantry Lane back towards the river you have a beautiful view and route alongside the magnificent Bishopthorpe Palace. Bishopthorpe Palace and opposite field, not so much a secret perhaps!...Jenna York Railway Pond, off Tadcaster Road If you enter Hob Moor from Tadcaster Road, and head left before the railway track you are in for a hidden pond delight! York Railway Pond! It's like a little oasis...Egg Chapman's Pond Chapman’s Pond, near Tesco at Askham Bar, is a favourite of mine...Imelda Askham Bog Venture a little further out of York, straight up Tadcaster Road and just onto the A64, the wonderful Askham Bog offers 44 hectares of ancient fenlands, and a beautiful mixture of wetlands, meadow and woodlands. Royal ferns, gingerbread sedge and spectacular displays of water violets and irises are found, with a boardwalk and exciting choice of paths. Beware, it is easy to get lost there! WEST YORK Leeman Road Millennium Green (Holgate Beck) I recently discovered Millennium Green which I never knew was there. I've lived near Poppleton Road School for 7 years and only found it in September last year!...Leanne Fishponds Wood, Acomb In the heart of Acomb, but easily missed, Fishponds Wood offers an opportunity to feel calm and happy in this busy suburb. Bachelor Hill, Acomb For a city devoid almost entirely of hills discovering Bachelor Hill in Acomb is quite a find. A proper hill, with a pretty clump of trees at the top with views over to the Minster, Colgate Windmill, Terry's and the Knavesmire. It's fun to run down too.