October 2014 The ‘News flash’ below turned out to be a flash in the pan. However, our new ranger from Riccall has been able to galvanize North Yorkshire County council into taking a new look at this issue and we are hoping for a new proposal before too long.
News flash August 2012 – The new owner has been identified and met our chair on site. He is preparing a revised proposal which he hopes will satisfy our aim to establish a permanent Nature Reserve and wildlife corridor before submitting it to Sustrans and North Yorkshire Council for approval.
We understand the owner of Escrick Park- now St Margaret’s School – was a Director of the Great North Eastern Railway and built a station between Escrick and. Stillingfleet so his weekend guests could arrive in (relative) comfort. The station and sidings were sold by Sustrans to a local developer as a landfill site though the terms of the sale oblige the owner to leave the site as a nature reserve on completion of the landfill. We have the plans for this and would like to be involved in its implementation but, unfortunately, no end date was stated in the agreement and the site is now blighted as landfill could re-start at any time.
In the meantime, nature (oblivious to the legal complications) had reclaimed the site for itself. We would have liked to undertake a survey to see what was there and then perhaps negotiate with the landowner for a resolution. Unfortunately, before Christmas, persons unknown bulldozed half the site flat ready for further tipping despite planning permission having lapsed in 2005. Thanks to the vigilance of a local volunteer ranger and North Yorkshire Planning enforcement officers, only one load was tipped but presumably planning permission will be sought and tipping resumed at some stage.
Local Sustrans Rangers from time to time clear the ‘Maze’ – a picnic spot protected under the sale agreement.
Route 65 from here to Riccall was surfaced in 2010 as part of the Future Jobs Fund