A couple of the CVS Comms team escaped the office to have a stroll around St Nicks fields, a thriving nature reserve created on a former landfill site.

St Nicks is a tucked away haven off Hull road. Zig zagging along paths through the trees, it’s a splendid place to get a bit lost for an hour or two on a sunny afternoon.

The environment centre itself is impressive…a bit like an eco-space ship with a giant modern-day hobbit house twist. It’s the hub of all things eco-related here in York.

We were fortunate enough to grab a tour with Tom Waring, Chief Exec of St Nicks (who just happens to be one of our trustees), to find out more about what goes on there.

The centre runs all sorts of things for keen volunteers – from Recycling,  to the weekly Wednesday Eco-Crafters group where people get together share crafting skills from felting to crochet over a cuppa, right through to the Evening Scything classes. For the uninitiated, (and those who missed the infamous Poldark episode…) scything is a traditional practical grassland management tool that ensures that all the wildlife in the grasslands stays buzzing!

Ecotherapy is another great project to get involved in. It covers a wide range of activities that promote physical and mental wellbeing in nature, from Nordic walking to hunting for the elusive, jewel-like Tansy beetle.

Strolling past the hidden orchard, we discovered den building in the dappled shade, as well as an intriguing plant that could also be used as a comb. In bygone years, this was used to tease the tangles out of wool. This sparked an interesting discussion about the eco merits of going “poo-free” . For those not yet in the loop, that’s going without shampoo. Watch this space for a dry run…

Our tour also took us past a convincingly ancient looking stone circle, fashioned from repurposed slabs of church stone, where a photography modelling session was in full swing, complete with a poetry reading clown in a snazzy dress.

All in all, the perfect antidote to hours of sitting and staring at screens!

Fancy checking it out yourself? Head down for an explore! The nature reserve is open all year round. For directions and more information, go to https://stnicks.org.uk/

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