−−−−− BY LINZI DAVIES −−−−−

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Wyke Beck Valley Friends Association, 5 nature reserves in east Leeds are being kept clean and tidy for people to use and enjoy, particularly as the clocks go forward this month and the days become longer enabling us to get out and about more. The five areas are spread between Temple Newsam and Roundhay Park on the popular Wyke Beck Way cycle trail, making them the ideal spot to enjoy a scenic cycle ride or gentle stroll without having to travel too far from home. The Wyke Beck Valley consists of Wyke Beck Woods, Arthur’s Rein, Killingbeck Fields, Primrose Valley and Beck Fields (Halton Moor) – a mixture of beautiful woodland and ancient meadows nestled amidst suburbia where you will find a variety of plants and wildflowers as well as wildlife such as Red Kites and the very elusive water vole.

The Wyke Beck Valley Friends Association is a group of people who want to give back to their local community and ensure that these areas of natural beauty enhance the lives of those who live nearby for many years to come. Along with the support of charity Groundwork, the group organise regular litter picks and tidying sessions, and sometimes have the help of corporate companies organised by Leeds City Council. They also have a walking group named the Wyke Beck Weekday Walkers who meet every other Tuesday for a local walk one week, then further afield the next time.

The group have received funding from Tesco Bags of Help Grant to continue improvements to Killingbeck Pond near York Road. This includes making nest boxes, bat boxes, planting and generally helping to make the area more pleasant. They will also be repairing the small bridge and pond dipping area. There will also be events and activities organised by Leeds Groundwork aimed at young people in the area.

The Friends Association are organising a big clean-up day on the 28th March as part of Keep Britain Tidy. They are meeting at 10am on the day at McDonald’s Killingbeck who will be providing drinks for the volunteers before they head off to litter pick on Killingbeck Fields. You would be most welcome to join them and get involved too!

If you would like more information about the group or the nature reserves, or to get involved, please email: wykebeckfriends@gmail.com

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