Strensall Common is one of just a few remaining lowland heaths in Yorkshire. The habitat includes areas of heather, acid grassland, woodland, wetland and ponds, of of which is highly attractive to a wide range of wildlife.
It has been used for military training since the 19th century and soldiers from nearby Strensall Barracks still make use of the land, although civilian use is enshrined in law. It is a lovely area for a walk but, before setting out it is important to check times when the common has restricted access by phoning 01904-442857. Birds to look out for include tree pipit, stonechat and green woodpecker.
1. From the car park walk back towards Lords Moor Lane. Near the road turn sharp right to go round a red-and-white barrier and join a well made path. When the route arrives on open heathland turn right to follow the track south-westwards. Disregard a minor path to the right.
2. When the track forks go right. Keep straight ahead when another track crosses it, and follow this course through trees. Emerging at a more open heath continue ahead, passing the tree-ringed Kidney Pond on the right. About 600 yards past the pond turn right onto a good path which skirts Strensall Camp and further on joins Howard Road.
3. Before a recreation ground turn right to follow Scott Moncrieff Road and take the first main turning on the right. Ignore a track on the left further on and continue on this track as it bends left and heads back across the open heath. After passing through a small patch of trees follow the path left to skirt a golf course and continue through conifers back to the car park.
Difficulty Rating: 1 stars
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 5 miles
Map: OS Landranger (1:50000) 105 York and Selby; or OS Explorers (1:25000) 290 York and 300 Howardian Hills & Malton.
Parking: Car park on Lords Moor Lane Strensall (signposted to Flaxton). Grid ref: SE648611
Public transport: Buses 5 & 5a from York Railway Station serve Strensall and Strensall Camp. For trains and bus times visit www.traveline.info or call 0871 2002233.
Toilets: For refreshments customers