Centre for nature and green living

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Visit us

Come and explore 24 acres of unique green space on the site of a former rubbish tip. St Nicks became a Local Nature Reserve in February 2004 in order to conserve and maintain a diverse range of habitats sustaining wildlife surrounded by urbanisation. It is just a mile from the city centre, nestled in between an industrial zone and a housing estate. For more information on the history of the site, please see the History pages.

Many birds live on or visit the nature reserve and there are around 20 species of butterflies found here. There are all kinds of other insects and some mammals too, but those can be harder to spot. There is a great variety of plant species, trees and shrubs. Some plants arrived via the city’s rubbish – for example apple and pear trees have grown from discarded pips. Others may have come along an old railway line (now cycle route no.66) and some by escaping the confines of people’s gardens or being carried by animals, birds or the wind. Fruit from the site has been tested and is safe for human consumption.

Join St Nicks

Over more than two decades, volunteers and supporters have made St Nicks what it is today: a flourishing hub of green inspiration for the city. You can help grow the green heart of York by joining St Nicks. Your support will help us sustain and expand our work.

Join us to help fulfill our vision for York to be a city where people value wildlife, the environment and each other equally to sustain a rich and healthy life for all.

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