Skipwith Common National Nature Reseve is one of the last remaining areas of northern lowland heath in England. An incredible variety of plants and animals depend on the Common for their survival. The 270 hectares of open heath, ponds, mire, fen, reed-bed,woodland and scrub are an ancient landscape, with its roots in pre-history.Today the Escrick Park Estate is the main landowner and manages the Common in partnership with Natural England to ensure that its wildlife survives into coming centuries. Much of the Vale of York was once lowland heath. Now only three areas survive - Skipwith Common, Strensall Common and Allerthorpe Common - the rest lost mainly to agriculture.Skipwith Common is a National Nature Reserve and a Special Area of Conservation.