£8m boost for Leeds' green space

Leisure department to link up existing green spaces to form West Leeds Country Park & Green Gateways, offering 32km circular route for users

Leeds City Council has included interpretation boards, way-marking and a guided walk calendar in objectives for the development of West Leeds Country Park & Green Gateways over the next two years. The city council aims to develop a 32km circular route encompassing much of West Leeds by linking 350ha of existing green corridors, urban green space and country-side areas. A park and gateways officer post will be created to implement the scheme at a cost of £28,240 a year. An estimated £8m will be spent on the project over the next 15 years. Council head of leisure services Denise Preston last week met with DEFRA officials to discuss funding possibilities through the new Natural England agency. The council’s learning and leisure department has started work on the ambitious scheme following extensive consultation with local community groups and agencies. Objectives to be achieved within the two-year timeframe include a feasibility study of the space, interpretation boards for compartmentalised areas of the park, way-marking of key routes and spur paths to sites of interest, information leaflets and a guided walk calendar. The council plans to set up a consultative forum of key stakeholders to explore issues relating to the park’s further development. Council leader Andrew Carter expects the project to boost the local environment and encourage wildlife, while enhancing the area’s appeal as a place to live and for business investment. He said: “This will be a marvellous asset for the people of West Leeds and the whole city. It will provide opportunities for leisure and also encourage activities that can boost health and well-being.”

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