Skipwith Common (Restoring the Heaths of the Vale of York)
Much of the Vale of York was once lowland heath. Now only three areas survive - Skipwith Common, Strensall Common and Allerthorpe Common - the rest lost mainly to agriculture.
The site is in excess of 240 ha of roughly 50% lowland heath and 50% woodland. Two types of heather are present and re-colonising cleared areas.
Areas of swamp and mire exist, home to rare flora and fauna, in which Sphagnum moss is in evidence, together with fen and reedbeds, ponds, areas of rush and grassland.
Today, the Escrick Part Estate is the main landowner and manages the Common in partnership with Natural England to ensure that its wildlife survives into coming centuries. Volunteer group, Friends of Skipwith Common provide support.
The Vale of York Heathland Project was a collaboration between Natural England, MOD Defence Estates, the Forestry Commission, the Escrick Park Estate and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
An ancient breed of longhorn cattle, wild and hardy Hebridean sheep and Exmoor ponies, plus a herd of wild fallow and roe deer graze the Common and help prevent silver birch regeneration.
Project Name: Skipwith Common (Restoring the Heaths of the Vale of York)
Organisation / Lead partner: Natural England
Location: Selby, Yorkshire
Approximate area covered: 270 ha
Conservation Status: Special Area of Conservation (SAC), National Nature Reserves(NNR)
Peat Habitats: Lowland heath
Project Type: Management
Year Project Began: 2008