St Nicholas Fields Urban Nature Park
A brief history of St Nicholas Fields
The Environmental Community Centre
A rich and varied history
|Earliest records show the site in the Middle Ages as a ‘Leper’ hospital and took its name from the ancient church that stood nearby, which was destroyed after the battle of Marston Moor in 1644.
During the 19th Century vast amounts of clay were dug out and used in the on site brick works to make bricks that many of the local houses were made off. This left large pits which in the 1950’s the City Council then used as a landfill site for the City’s rubbish. Tipping ceased in 1974 and the site was fenced off and left so that nature could begin its healing work.
In 1988 the Council considered building an industrial estate on the site, a group of concerned local citizens formed a protest group to oppose the loss of a valuable green space already rich in wildlife and The Friends of St Nicholas Fields was born. In 1994 work on the park began, members of the ‘friends’ and many others have planted thousands of trees, created a butterfly walk and built an adventure playground, a mini Stonehenge and a BMX track.
In the early 1980's the park loocked like this with shrubs trees and flowers growing up through the rubbish, York Minster can be seen in the distance.