By Connor Briggs
A blossom tree site has opened in Burley Park, with an event to celebrate the opening including live music, poetry, food, and drink.
The space has been in the works since December, with the development involving Love Leeds Parks discussing with the volunteer group Friends of Burley Park on ways to improve Burley Park.
Work involved planting ten new trees and installing a new footpath.
CEO of independent charity Love Leeds Parks, Chloe Sykes, said: “It’s been a real community effort, we’ve also had conservation volunteers who have played a huge part.
“It’s been really great to see everybody come together to work on what will be a beautiful place.
“It’s about how we can make a space that the community can use whether it’s to reflect, be creative, connect with friends and family, be inspired by nature.
“Green space is so incredibly important, there’s so many reported benefits for wellbeing and it’s important everyone has equal opportunity to access and be inspired by nature.
“Burley is one of the most densely populated areas of Leeds, it’s incredibly deprived of green space so it’s important that we have this accessible space that’s free and open to the public.”
Co-chair of the Friends of Burley Park, Mike Winter, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have some investment in an inner-city park like ours, its wonderful. It’s got blossom trees and benches for people to come and enjoy, it’s fully accessible so anyone can just come and spend time here.
“Looking at the amount of people here, there’s dozens of people at the park and I’ve already had people come up to me and say they didn’t know the park was here. Green space is so important, it allows us to reconnect with nature.”
Burley dog walker Emily Frost, 35, said: “I walk my dog regularly here, I’ve seen the process all along and I love spending time here. Maybe a few more benches would be good so we can sit out, but apart from that I think its spot on.”
Leeds City Council partnered with Love Leeds Parks to support the project. Chris Megginson, park technical support officer, said: “I’m really pleased to work with the parks department to help keep these things available for people.
“I’m looking to make plans for up to 12 parks a year over the next five to six years, working on three at a time, starting a new park each month. We will be hoping to talk to people about Burley Park from July through to September this year. It’s going to be a thorough process.”
The event was run in collaboration with Love Leeds Parks, the National Trust, Friends Of Burley Park and Leeds City Council with future projects planned in Burley Park throughout the year.
You can find Friends of Burley Park on Facebook and on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Love Leeds Parks is seeking a new treasurer to join the charity. More details here.