Photo: Keely Bannister

Improvements to Pudsey’s parks are progressing – but vandalism slows progress

14 January 2020

Improvements being made to three parks in Pudsey ward are progressing – but vandalism is slowing work down, writes Keely Bannister. 

Vandalism at Queens Park, Pudsey. Photo: Keely Bannister

Tyersal Park, Swinnow Moor and Queens Park are each being kitted out with a trim trail made up of a multi-purpose composite hard-wearing track with distance markers

They’ll also have eight pieces of gym equipment, which will each target a different muscle group meaning that people will get a free gym experience.

Gym equipment in Queens Park, Pudsey.

There will also be a community orchard in each park made up of 22 fruit trees. Other improvements (benches/bins) will follow and are not part of the original scheme.

As previously reported by The Dispatch, originally Swinnow was going to be the first park to be improved, but wet weather meant that Tyersal was actually the first to see work done. 

Continued wet weather is slowing progress at Tyersal down – as is vandalism.

A big issue currently is people misusing quad bikes and other motorised vehicles, causing damage on grassed areas and football pitches with repairs having to be prioritised before work can continue on Tyersal Park’s trim trail.

Work: Tyersal Park.

At the local councillors insistence, Leeds City Council’s parks department are carrying out the work, but they are being pulled away when needed elsewhere to carry out emergency works.

Councillor Trish Smith has been told that all works in Tyersal should be completed by mid-February – weather depending – at which point the team will move straight on to Swinnow Moor, which will hopefully be done by Easter at the latest.

Queens Park will be worked on when the football season has finished.

The multi-purpose track at Tyersal Park. Photo: Keely Bannister

Pudsey councillors (Trish Smith, Simon Seary and Mark Harrison) are hoping completing works in Tyersal and Swinnow before moving onto Queens Park will show the councillors are committed to all the communities throughout the ward after years of what she describes as investment being “too Pudsey Town Centre-centric”.

Cllr Smith showed The Dispatch progress so far at Tyersal as well as a tour of exact locations of where developments will be completed in the other two parks. She said:

“Health in Green Spaces: this is the Pudsey motto. An idea was brought up by Cllr Seary to build a walking path around the parks so people didn’t have to get covered in mud and that then evolved into a bigger project to include the gym equipment by Cllr Mark Harrison. It’s been a group effort by all three councillors to make this happen. 

“The track is being dug out deep, then a membrane is added, then the hardcore is put down, before the top coat is added which will be gold in colour.

“It’s going to be a proper job. The track will be wide enough for two people to pass each other or a wheelchair or pram to travel along. There won’t be any edging on the track to avoid any trip hazards and to help with mowing.

“The trees that will make up the orchard will be substantial in size, not whips, to avoid any vandalism. The gym equipment will be dotted around the track. People will be able to get a full gym work out for free.

Community Infrastructure Money (CIL) is funding the multi-purpose track, gym equipment and community orchards and money from the Outer West Housing Advisory Panel (HAP) will install a new main entrance gate suitable for disabled people and pushchairs into Swinnow Park. Cllr Smith added:

“I’ve also arranged for a dropped kerb to be put in outside Swinnow Community Centre and the entrance gate at the park to make access easy. The Pudsey councillors believe that community spaces should be accessible for all and it’s our job to ensure they are.”

In terms of layout, the multi-purpose track at Tyersal has already started being laid out towards the back of the park and will continue round the football pitch, and the community orchard will be in the space behind the bowling green.

Swinnow Moor, near Wellstone Drive. Photo: Keely Bannister

The track at Swinnow will go around the play area at the Swinnow Lane end of the park – linking to the two secondary entrances at Wellstone Drive and Wellstone Rise so people don’t have to walk across the grass if they choose not to.

The community orchard is being planted in the area of the junction between Swinnow Lane and Wellstone Drive.

Queens Park will see the football pitch slightly realigned, the track going around the football pitches and the orchard behind the muga where the ground tends to be wettest. The three pieces of gym equipment already in situ will be remaining, with eighr new pieces being added.

What does the community think of these investments?

While walking around Tyersal Park, a resident named Jo Domenech approached Cllr Smith to ask about the improvements. Ms Domenech said:

“I’m looking forward to the gym equipment because I’m pre-diabetic and just to be able to walk round that field [where the multi-purpose track is being laid] and not get full of mud. The fruit picking: it’s going to be amazing!”

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Mrs Harrison says:

What happened to the park at Stanningley?it is isa disgrace

David Harrison says:

What about stanningley park it’s a disgrace cars running over soccer fields that are hardly used and 1 rugby field never used changing rooms re ferbed not used money wasted that could be used to put barriers up tennis court dug up and not in use needs sorting urgently

westleedslife says:

Suspect you’ll need to speak to the Bramley & Stanningley ward councillors about that. Wasn’t there a Friends of Stanningley Park group being set up at one stage to su[pport it?