The location of City of York Council’s new community wood has been revealed.
We reported in August that the council planned to create a 154-acre wood, with planned walking and cycling routes, children’s play areas and a cafe.
It has bought farmland next to the outer ring road, where trees will be planted to offset carbon emissions.
The location of the site has now been revealed as an area west of Knapton, bordered by the A1237 and Wetherby Road, the B1224.
A further 10 acres of land has been bought inside the ring road by the council – but the location has not yet been revealed.
Senior councillors agreed to put £1.65 million towards purchasing the land and planting 50,000 trees. They say the decision is part of the authority’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Council predictions say the forest could remove between 18,000 and 24,000 tonnes of CO2 during 50 years after creation – equating to about a quarter of the council’s vehicle emissions over the same period, or an eight of total street lighting emissions.
Cllr Paula Widdowson, the council’s climate change lead, said: “I am delighted to see that following our continued investment in public transport, electric charging infrastructure and home insulation, the plans to develop a major new woodland are progressing at pace.
“With the land secured, we can now move on to the next phases of this exciting project, which will see local communities and experts take the lead in making sure we deliver a space which is beneficial to both the city’s residents and our wildlife.”
Planting is due to start this winter or early next year, once the Forestry Commission approves the plans.
And 35 acres of land will be planted with wildflowers in the meantime.
The forest will feature cycle routes, footpaths and fitness trails, according to a council report.
It will also have an outdoor play area for children, a forest school space, a woodland cafe and commercial areas to help make money to fund the upkeep of the site.
It is hoped the site will become a new visitor attraction.