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The garden used to be a siding on a branch line of the Derwent Valley Light Railway, running from the power station at Foss Islands to the Hospital and the Rowntrees Factory. After the railway shut down, Sustrans acquired the land and made the cycle path. The siding was turned into a garden by Sustrans, BTCV, and local residents, and was planted with fruit trees and a wild meadow area.

Recent Developments

After getting a bit overgrown, a new group of volunteers are now working on the garden. Edible York have helped set us up with a grant for tools, and a gardening mentor who really helped get our group off the ground. In 2013 we have cut back invading brambles and cleared the garden and pathways to make the garden more usable for everyone, and have started planting new fruit trees and fruit bushes to complement the surviving original trees. We have tried to raise local awareness of the garden through leafleting on the surrounding streets. We are very grateful to the York Orchard Project for the donation of 5 fruit trees - as well as the planting day, York Orchard organised site preparation/approvals and continue to support us in looking after the trees carefully. Our next big challenge is to restore the wild meadow area with lots of diverse wild flowers!

Getting Involved

  • Being part of the garden can be as simple as visiting it when you pass by - regular visitors help establish the garden as a cherished local green space.
  • We run garden sessions, often on a Sunday afternoon, if you want to join in with some hands-on work. Everyone welcome!
  • There is a compost heap on the garden which you can add to with raw vegetable waste from the kitchen, or garden waste. No cooked vegetables or meat please.
  • We are gradually building up a set of garden tools so if there are any old or unneeded tools you'd like to donate, please let us know.
  • The Route 66 Garden is for everyone to enjoy, so if you have ideas for how we could develop it in the future then send us an email or drop by a session to chat.


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Edible Map

At Edible York, we’re working with the community to provide every local and organic food growing opportunity available. This also includes highlighting and pointing out areas where wild produce is already ripe for picking and areas which are ideal for foraging for delicious natural treats.

There is a world of goodness outside your home and with a simple look at our Edible Map; you’ll soon see the vast array of naturally growing wild produce just waiting to be enjoyed. In addition to mapping out all the public food growing space that are known of across the York area, Abundance, York’s urban harvesting group is also hoping to collect details of private fruit and vegetable sources. The map itself shows only publicly available areas.

Across York, the Edible Map highlights a vast array of wild fruit trees, ready for their fruit to be harvested and enjoyed, without a polythene bag in sight. From sweet chestnuts to wild apples and damsons to blackberries, the fruit available across York may surprise some people, who weren’t previously aware of the extent of wild, natural produce available. The Edible Map is collated by members of the Edible York team but also accepts submissions from readers who have spotted something interesting.

As well as fruit trees and bushes, plucky foragers have spotted many naturally occurring herbs and spices amongst the hedgerows of the area. The map shows sites growing of garlic mustard, horseradish and even edible roses. With the vast array of natural produce growing, our work at Edible York can only serve to help the community build up from this great starting point and further develop the sustainable food sources in the area.