Way of the Roses

York is privileged to have one of Sustrans’ iconic coast-to-coast routes running through the city. The Way of the Roses enters York through Sustrans woodland at Hurns Gutter, crosses Rawcliffe Ings skirts the Minster  and leaves the city’s boundaries through Sustrans ‘Balloon Tree Copse’ near Stamford Bridge.

Route 65 to Beningborough Hall turns North from the River Ouse to follow Hurns Gutter upstream across a replica Forth Rail bridge and joins the road at Stripe Lane. The Gutter is a stream that occasionally acts as flood alleviation outlet for the Ouse and though the path follows the higher ground it is occasionally flooded itself.

This year the path has been plagued by slippage into the stream with nasty cracks appearing in the tarmac. The plan is to re-route the path along higher ground away from the stream and negotiations with the landowners and funding sources are underway.

The path which is now part of the popular “Way of the Roses” coast-to-coast long distance route. Much of our efforts are spent on just keeping the path open. A planned blitz on the Himalayan Balsam by Community Payback was halted at the last minute by the discovery of Giant Hogweed which can cause nasty burns. We have met with the Environment Agency (EA) and the local authority and this year Sustrans will monitor its progress and attempt to eradicate it so we can have another attempt to mitigate the Himalayan Balsam next year.

An EA ecologist was able to point out Tansy plants and we even saw a Tansy beetle so look carefully next time you are there. This beetle is under threat from the Himalayan Balsam and we are hoping to work together with Buglife’s Tansy Beetle Action Group see website to control this threat.

 This section also goes through some fine deciduous wet woodland. There are wildflower verges beyond the ‘Forth Bridge’ but the waters edges are threatened by Himalayan Balsam .Main tasks include Himalayan Balsam control and the regular clearance of fallen trees by Sustrans Rangers. It seems the ‘wet’ woodland is of special interest and we are looking for guidance and support from the Forestry Commission.

Nearer Stripe Lane the path is subject to slippage and plans are afoot to move it into the adjacent meadow. A great opportunity to welcome Way of the Roses visitors to York with a wildflower meadow?

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