Allerthorpe Common, excluding York's Plantation, is a site of 2030 hectares about 10 miles south eastof York (VC 62, SE 7647). It is one of the three remaining heathlands in the Vale of York. The site is overlain by fluvial sands which have also probably been moved by the wind. According to Fordham (1922), the Common was made up of dry and wet areas carrying heather, cotton grass, birch scrub snd bare sandy patches and was subject to fires which were sometimes extensive. During the mid-1960s most of the Common was coniferized, so that areas of wet and dry heath became much reduced and those that remained were invaded by birch, oak and sallow unless kept open. However the rides through the planted conifers are sufficiently wide to provide nesting and foraging sites for aculeates.
Archer, Michael E., "The Wasps and Bees (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) of Allerthorpe Common Before and After Coniferization" (1989). An. Paper 37.
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