We came together in 1995 after the death of our friend and environmentalist, John Lally. We had the idea of planting one tree in his memory. This idea grew into a plan to create and plant out a community woodland. A discussion between the “friends” of John Lally and the co-ordinator of St Nicholas Fields, York resulted in the setting up of a new group called The Friends of John Lally Wood. This group went on to ratify a constitution, appoint officers, open a bank account and eventually to carry out the work over a seven year period. We raised funds, produced publicity material and began planting out a 5 acre community woodland that year at St Nicholas Fields. This old rubbish tip site is now home to some 7000 trees and the York Environmental Community Centre.
John Lally was a visionary environmentalist who believed in changing the world around him. His friends have taken up the challenge and are committed to changing the balance between the environmental degradation we see around us and environmental improvement.
In 2003 members of The Friends of John Lally Wood and the Coordinator of The Friends of St Nicholas Fields combined to form the John Lally International Foundation.
After 15 years of hard work by the local community, the John Lally Wood matured into a beautiful woodland which continues be a source of pleasure, peace and tranquillity in that part of York. Below is a BBC programme about St Nicholas Field, York.