Spring 2019 Update

This is the update recently submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund

York Greenways

Railway to Greenway Project

Interim Report April 2019


End Date

It was agreed with the Heritage Lottery Fund that, in order to reflect the late start due to recruitment issues, and to take advantage of upcoming opportunities for partnership working, the project would be extended to September 2019. No additional funding was attached.

Project Administration

Original difficulties in recruiting a Project Worker were overcome by recruiting part time specialist consultants coordinated by York Greenways committee members with the help of University interns.

The website

The website – www.railwaytogreenway.org – is now fully operational and has received a number of favourable comments. It is nevertheless an ongoing project and the next few months will be devoted to fine tuning the structure and uploading additional material. This process will continue beyond the end of the project.

Material includes documents and photographs researched by volunteers and interns from sources including the National Rail Museum, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, the National  Archive and a variety of publications and local history groups. In addition our oral history programme is recording interviews with retired miners and railway workers and those involved in the creation of the greenway.


A selection of the material has been used for the creation of 8 large permanent interpretation boards in oak at key location along the route and 8 smaller boards the content of which can be renewed as appropriate. Material collected will be used for productions in a variety of media – video and audio – which will be used as the basis for a series of public talks continuing beyond the end of the HLF project funding. We have been invited to speak at the AGM of Timeline York Plus, the regional consortium of local history gorups

Schools Programme

The programme has engaged with Year 5 pupils at the schools in the 3 villages along the path. A launch day has been followed up with a series of seasonal activities by our ecologist, both in school and on the path. We are actively seeking funding to continue this programme in future years.

The Community Hub

We have developed community hub next to the old station at Naburn and this offers a drop-n service for local residents out cycling or walking. Refreshments are available as well as sheltered seating and a ‘mini-museum’ cum pop-up audio studio. The hub has been the subject of a very favourable research report by the University of York.

The Hub  offers refreshment and publicises the project to organised rides including those from groups promoting cycling to a more  diverse population, including Refugee Action York, Bikes Belles and Cycling to Freedom

Natural Heritage

We have continued and enhanced our programme of controlling invasive species and encouraging bio-diversity with support and guidance from a variety of partners.


York Greenways has a core of regular local volunteers. Their work is supplemented by partnership working with other groups. These include local members of Sustrans Greener Greenways project,  Good Gym, Brunswick Organic Nursery, York Cares and volunteers at the museums.


We work in partnership with Sustrans and Trans Penning Trail as the route lies on their networks and with the Parish Councils along the route. We have procured the services of interns from the University of York and the University of York St John. We have received support and advice from St Nicholas Fields Environmental Resource Centre and support from Brunswick Organic Nursery, which lies alongside the path.

We are currently working with the Local Authority on a project to  create 8 youth football  pitches straddling the path which  will act as the sole means of access for players and spectators. We expect to agree improvement to the path and a long term maintenance agreement.


We have been interviewed 3 times on York TV, on Minster FM and Radio York. We have erected display boards on the river crossing and have display boards at access points from each of the 3 adjacent villages. Vinyl banners have been installed at either end of the greenway visible from the busy main roads and these will be replaced by permanent sculptures. We have had stalls at a number of local  events including the York Cycle Rally and the Walk Cycle Festival with led rides featuring the project. HLF funding has been acknowledged in all publicity.

Finances and Sustainability

Spend to date amounts to £47,000 leaving a balance of £11,000 which is fully committed. We have raised funds sufficient to maintain the artefacts and the website and are seeking funding  to continue the schools programme and put the community hub on a firmer footing.