Headingley Labour Councillors have been busy protecting and sprucing up green spaces in Leeds North West recently. Neil Walshaw moved and seconded the Council’s refusal of permission to develop green fields in Adel. Along with Janette Walker and Jonathan Pryor he’s been backing the improvement of a delightful pocket of ancient woodland in Headingley – at Batty Wood on Woodhouse Ridge.

Neil, Jonathan and Janette - Labour's team in Headingley
Neil, Jonathan and Janette – Labour’s team in Headingley

Funding for the initiative was secured by the Woodhouse Ridge Action Group (WRAG), who, along with the Council, have carried out a range of improvement projects in the area.

Batty Wood is set within Meanwood Valley in a large piece of woodland known as Woodhouse Ridge, which dates back to at least 1600 AD. It is a haven for wildlife and home to a wide variety of species including the great spotted woodpecker, pipistrelle bat, tawny owl and roe deer.

A range of trees and shrubs including rowan, hazel, downy birch, small-leaved lime and oak were planted as part of a range of work undertaken last winter, along with the thinning out of some of the trees, which will help the growth of wildflowers and shrubs and encourage more insects, particularly pollinating species such as butterflies, moths, bees and hoverflies, which are currently in decline.

The improvements were praised during a recent inspection for the renewal of the Council’s United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) accreditation. UKWAS is an independent, internationally recognised standard, which verifies that woodland management meets the highest levels of sustainability and is endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council FSC.
Leeds City Council was awarded UKWAS certification in 2012 and it covers the entire 1300 hectares of woodland under the Authority’s ownership and management. Batty Wood’s just a small area – but no less important for that.

As Neil Walshaw said:

“Woodhouse Ridge is a fantastic area of ancient woodland and green space cutting through the city and we are delighted that work has been carried out at Batty Wood. The work will allow new trees and smaller plants to grow and encourage more wildlife to come to the area. Our thanks and appreciation goes to Parks and Countryside staff and volunteers from the Woodhouse Ridge Action Group who have made this possible.”

The Woodhouse Ridge Action Group are delighted, too

“We would like to thank our local Councillors and the Parks & Countryside Service for their support to bring about these much needed improvements to Batty Wood. The woodland is an important part of the city’s natural heritage and the changes will make it an even better asset for the people of Leeds.”

As Headingley Councillors have recognised before, even the smallest breathing space is important in the inner city.

Neil has shown his commitment to the wider green fields of Adel.

Which all goes to demonstrate – you can trust Labour with the green spaces of Leeds North west.

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