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Dunnington Parish Council

Dunnington Conservation Group and the Hassacarr Nature Reserve

Hassacarr Nature Reserve is to the south of the village of Dunnington and can be reached along Hassacarr Lane, which runs off Common Road to the north of the industrial estate. Whilst the reserve is largely owned by the Parish Council, small areas are owned by Simpsons Joiners and Yorkshire Water.

Hassacarr Nature Reserve has been given a statutory designation as a Local Nature Reserve by Dunnington Parish Council under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.

An information board at Hassacarr Nature Reserve

Dunnington Conservation Group manages the reserve on behalf of the Parish Council and the other landowners. Much of the reserve is permanently open to the public and consists of a large pond, thought to date back to the last glaciation, an area of mature alder woodland, another area of more recently planted woodland and a small meadow. Another area, which formerly belonged to Yorkshire Water and was operated as a sewage works, is kept locked, apart from arranged visits and open days. This area is enclosed by a wire fence and hedging plants, and consists of areas of meadow, scrub and two smaller ponds. The area also contains a small field centre, housing information about the reserve.

Whilst the principal focus for Dunnington Conservation Group is the management of the reserve, the group has also been instrumental in initiating the creation of a small area of wildflowers in the Millennium Garden area of the village green, to help increase numbers of pollinators and to make better use of the largely sterile areas of close-cropped grassland which dominate the centre of the village. The Conservation group has worked with the “In Bloom” group and the Friends of Hagg Wood on this project, and its success should lead to the creation of further wildflower areas in the future.

The work of the Conservation group in managing the reserve is consistently praised by visitors, and the area has earned high marks from the Britain in Bloom or Yorkshire in Bloom judges when they have assessed the village’s entry into those events.

Dunnington Conservation Group aims:

  • To manage and enhance biodiversity in the village of Dunnington , particularly through the management of the Hassacarr Nature Reserve, but also by involvement more widely in the village
  • To work with the landowners and Natural England to secure and retain statutory local nature reserve status
  • To provide people, especially young people, with opportunities to learn about nature conservation and biodiversity through direct contact with the huge number of species found at Hassacarr Nature Reserve
  • To host periodic evening events to demonstrate progress made and educate members and the wider community about wildlife


All of the people involved in Dunnington Conservation Group are volunteers.

The work at Hassacarr is overseen and directed by the Voluntary Warden, with the work being largely done by a small group on Wednesday mornings and a larger group on the third Sunday morning of each month.

Support is provided by Natural England, for example by providing machinery and staff to cut the meadows and occasionally by local farmers.

Further details can be found on the Facebook page.

To find out what's been happening at the reserve over the past twelve months, just follow the link and you will be able to read their Annual Newsletter.

Dunnington Conservation Group Annual Newsletter 2022 (PDF file)