YOUNG volunteers are helping unearth part of York’s wartime past at a Clifton nature reserve.

Clifton Backies is part of the former Clifton Airfield, which was last used in the Berlin Airlift in the late 1940s and was designated as a nature reserve in 2002.To celebrate 70 years since it was used as an airfield, the Friends of Clifton Backies are looking to uncover and rejuvenate part of the airfield in readiness for their anniversary celebrations on August 3.

YH Learners, who are volunteering at the site, helped clear and restore an original Second World War rockery found on the airfield, together with an original bike rack; the site was so large that servicemen used bikes to get across it. The youngsters taking part are undertaking training and qualifications on YH’s Foundation and Military Preparation Courses.  They will be working alongside a number of volunteers to help clear around some of the foundations of old original buildings which have been found on the site.

Mick Thompson, who trains young people on the Military Preparation Course and is an ex-serviceman himself, said: “Our students are proud to be helping as it’s as much a part of their own potential military family history as well as a part of local history which needs to be restored and remembered.