Save Askham Bog!

By Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Campaign Completed on

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Thank you for supporting our campaign to Save Askham Bog!

UPDATE: Monday, November 4th

In less than a month, this campaign to #SaveAskhamBog has raised £28,594 in individual donations - absolutely astounding! This means that we can put forward the strongest possible case for Askham Bog's protection at the upcoming Public Inquiry.

Described as "irreplaceable" and a “cathedral of nature conservation” by Sir David Attenborough, Askham Bog is an amazing place for wildlife and of global significance. On October 9th, we launched this campaign to raise the vital funds to defend it at this month's Public Inquiry, and we’re delighted to announce that we've surpassed our initial target by over £13,000 - a testament to how loved and valued this nature reserve is by local residents and naturalists alike.

Thanks to public support and generosity Yorkshire Wildlife Trust can better defend Askham Bog and its wildlife at this Inquiry.

  • We now have stronger scientific evidence thanks to Alex Jones (a chartered geologist and part of JBA Consulting’s hydrogeology team), expert witnesses Professor Sir John Lawton and Professor Alastair Fitter, and first-rate planning advice.
  • What’s more, we have secured excellent legal representation from Emma-Louise Fenelon and Darragh Coffey of 1 Crown Office Row Chambers, who are providing their time and expertise pro bono. We are truly grateful for their support. And thanks to you, we are able to cover all the other associated legal costs of the campaign.

What happens next?

The Public Inquiry is being held at The Citadel, Gillygate, York YO31 7EA from Tuesday 12th until Friday 29th November (excluding Mondays), 9am – 5:30pm. It is open to the public, so supporters of Askham Bog are welcome to attend on all or any of the days. The Planning Inspector will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on February 21st 2020, and there will be a final decision following this. We will keep you updated with developments as they happen.

Thank you once again to everyone who supported this campaign. We’ll leave you with these words from one of Askham Bog’s most inspiring supporters, Sir David Attenborough...

“... ancient places like Askham Bog, rich in biodiversity, must be protected. It is hugely valued by the people of York and by all naturalists and is part of our cultural and natural heritage. It is our collective responsibility to save it.”

Extended until the weekend!

UPDATE: Thursday, October 31st - Guided walks at Askham Bog.

Today is the first day of the Nature Matters 2019: Time for Nature conference in York, and we're delighted that it's opening with guided walks around Askham Bog. Our President, Sir John Lawton, and Trustee, Alastair Fitter, are the guides:


14.00-17.00 Join Professor Alastair Fitter and Professor Sir John Lawton for a guided walk around Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Askham Bog Nature Reserve. FULLY BOOKED

If you want to protect irreplaceable Askham Bog then there is still time to give! Please spread the word.

Only five days to go! Will it be enough to Save Askham Bog?

UPDATE: Friday, October 25th - This campaign closes next week!

With the Public Inquiry looming, every penny counts...

Donations have been steadily coming in this week and, once again, we'd like to extend our thanks to each and every one of you. You are proper Yorkshire heroes!

We're in touching distance of £22,000... Can we make it to £25,000 in just five days? With £25,000 we will go into the Inquiry with:

  • Legal representation
  • Stronger scientific evidence
  • Expert witnesses
  • Expert planning advice

Over 260 of you have supported this campaign so far... If each of you shared this page with just one person who loves the natural world as much as you do, then maybe we can do it!

Askham Bog needs us more than ever - as Sir David Attenborough said earlier this month: "It is our collective responsibility to save it."

Please keep sharing and supporting our campaign. Thank you.

Stop the press... We're over target!

UPDATE: Wednesday, October 16th - Grateful beyond words...

In less than a week, we have surpassed our initial target of £15,000! This is more than we could have hoped for. Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared this campaign!

We'd like to extend extra special thanks to our friends at York Civic Trust for their hugely generous donation of £5,000, which has massively increased our total.

At £21,214 at the time of this update, we are now in a much stronger position to argue the case for Askham Bog's protection at the Public Inquiry. However, as is typical with these things, costs are increasing all the time and our small team is stretched beyond capacity... With just a bit more, we could employ expert planning advice, which would significantly enhance our defence of Askham Bog and its wildlife.

Can we raise £25,000?

We have until October 30th to make it happen...

Please keep sharing and supporting. Askham Bog needs us.

Overwhelmed by the support so far!

UPDATE: Friday, October 11th - WOW... £11,824 raised already! What a way to head into the weekend. Thanks to every single one of you for your amazing support!

Sadly, we cannot risk early celebration. Askham Bog needs us now more than ever and we're already being told to expect costs far exceeding our initial £15,000 estimate. Please share this page and encourage friends and family to join this vital campagin. We must put forward the strongest possible case to save this irreplaceable nature reserve.

If you live or own a business in York, help us spread the word even further by putting a poster up in your window. You can download a poster via this link:

Thanks once again for all your support so far. Together we can #SaveAskhamBog!

"Our collective responsibility to save it." - Sir David Attenborough

UPDATE: Thursday, October 10th - We were absolutely delighted to receive a new statement from Sir David in support of this campagin just yesterday!

"I am disappointed to hear that Askham Bog is again under threat. So much of the natural world is in peril and now, more than ever before, ancient places like Askham Bog, rich in biodiversity, must be protected. It is hugely valued by the people of York and by all naturalists and is part of our cultural and natural heritage. It is our collective responsibility to save it. I would urge all those who love the natural world to support Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who are fighting for it."

Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared this campaign so far. Together we can #SaveAskhamBog!

"Irreplaceable" - Sir David Attenborough

For its size, Askham Bog is the richest place in Yorkshire for wildlife: one in 20 of all UK species is represented here. Only minutes from the centre of York, this nature reserve is a proper urban oasis, and a haven for wildlife and people alike.

Askham Bog is truly astonishing, if a bit of a hidden gem - Sir David Attenborough called it a "cathedral of nature conservation" when he visited in 2016. A remnant of Yorkshire's ancient fenlands (it occupies the site of an ancient lake, left behind by a retreating glacier 15,000 years ago), it's absolutely extraordinary how many plants and animals thrive within its lush 120 acres.

Askham Bog is not only a window to our past - it represents everything we need to protect for the sake of our future.

Under threat again!

In July 2019, the City of York Council unanimously refused the planning application for development next to Askham Bog. Devastatingly, the developers are now appealing this decision and York's oldest and most beloved nature reserve is once again under threat.

Our natural world is in peril. Shockingly, the UK is one of the most nature depleted places on the planet and now, more than ever before, we must fight to conserve places like Askham Bog.

This nature reserve is part of York's natural and cultural heritage - it is our collective responsibility to protect it.

We need your help

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust wants to defend Askham Bog and its wildlife at the forthcoming public inquiry*. But we need your help!

We need to raise a minimum of £15,000 for the necessary legal representation, and to gather additional scientific evidence, to argue the case for Askham Bog's protection.

As a charity we rely on public support - we cannot do this without you.

*Currently set to take place in November 2019.

15,000 years in the making...

Earlier this year, over 7,000 of you stood with us to object to this development! Will you stand with us again?

If 7,000 people donate just £2.50 each, then we will be able to make the strongest possible case to save Askham Bog. This development will cause substantial harm to a nature reserve that's a Site of Special Scientific Interest, as well as an urban haven for people and wildlife.

What's more, the success of this campaign will once again demonstrate to those in power how much our community loves and values Askham Bog.

Askham Bog has been 15,000 years in the making. We need to raise at least £15,000 by October 30th to protect it for Yorkshire, and for the next generation.

Wildlife cannot speak for itself - it is down to us to make a difference.

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Team Members

Clea Grady

Hetti Lawrence

Katie Mapp