Wykeham quarry lies off the A170 York to Scarborough road in the Vale of Pickering and is surrounded by farmland. The site comprises active sand and gravel workings, restored gravel workings now used as fishing lakes, and mainly semi-natural woodland, much of it on peat. The site is 150 metres west of the River Derwent. It is leased form the Wykeham Estate, which retains various rights including fishing on one of the northern lakes. The area including adjacent woodland and wetland, but excluding the 2003 extension, is classified as a SINC - Wykeham Pits and Woodland. The site is important both for nature conservation and amenity use (sailing and fishing). These interests can, at times, compete.
Key species at Wykeham are water vole, waterfowl and waders and the site has the potential to support otter. It also features a number of notable invertebrate species.
The nature of the site lends itself to outdoor learning. Local BAP species to be encouraged on the site are water vole, otter (potential) and little ringed plover.