Foss Flood Storage Area -a new development near Strensall

A new area north of Strensall where the Environment Agency are currently working on a new ‘Foss Flood Storage Area’. This being constructed north of York between Strensall, Flaxton and West Lilling, just to the south-east of Lilling Green.

It will have some current and future birding potential and at the moment is a flooded area of grass banks and wet fields, some muddy areas and heaps of spoil, with two deeper ponds – one which appears to be going to be permanent. Plus there are various dug channels and a flow structure on the River Foss to control the water flow further south near Walbutts near Strensall. The aim, is that when completed, it will come into operation in times of high rainfall and water levels in the Foss and a sluice gate will retain water in this ‘lake’ and then let it out slowly later, in order to reduce the risk of flooding downstream in Strensall and other areas into York.  (Attached sign).

A visit by Peter Reed in November produced Grey Heron, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Buzzard, c380 Greylag and c80 Canada Geese, a Redshank and a male Stonechat.  A Barn Owl and Kingfisher were near the bridge over the River Foss on the way there.

Also flying nearby to the west were 270 Golden Plover and 80 Lapwing and two Whooper Swans flew north.

On previous winter visits Wigeon and a Green Sandpiper have been found. There are no details on the Environment Agency website about public access or viewing. Other sightings have included, Red Kite, and Corn Bunting

The site is only accessible by walking north on the Foss/Ebor/Centenary Way public footpath from the MOD’s Strensall Common’s Galtres Car Park, or by walking south from Lilling Low Lane from its ‘cross-roads’, with New Lane West Lilling and Lilling Green at SE645638.  There are a few parking places here by the road, and walk south-west on the Foss Walk/Ebor Way/Centenary Way (footpath only), over the River Foss, for a about a km, past Lilling Green to view.  (Beware construction traffic/vehicles on the very muddy track.)

Lilling Low Lane is also very narrow with only a few vague passing places, so it is best not to try and drive to view from the road westwards, though one can walk from the parking spot mentioned.

Thanks to Ian Brookes & Peter Reed for the above information & photos