A new group is looking to preserve and tidy a piece of Kirkstall woodland – and is encouraging fellow West Leeds residents to get involved.
Kirkstall’s Sam Meadley and friends Michael Bird and Mandy Long started the Friends of Morris Wood Group last month and are hoping to improve the woodland, which forms part of the wider West Leeds Country Park.
Mr Meadley said:
“It’s my favourite place in Kirkstall, a sheltered oasis with clear views through to Kirkstall Abbey and beyond to the Leeds/Liverpool Canal.
“It’s a great antidote to the traffic on the A65, rich with wildlife. Like many parts of Kirkstall, you can easily forget that you’re only three miles away from the city centre.
“Unfortunately the site attracts a lot of litter and fly tipping. Although it’s generally doing well from a woodland management perspective, some areas are quite overgrown and in need of some attention.”
The initial aims of the group include:
- Raising awareness and encouraging use
- Regular litter picks/clean-up days
- Restoring motorcycle barriers
- Wildlife surveys
- Footpath map
- Graffiti removal
Mr Meadley said that following a walk around the site with a representative from the council’s Parks and Countryside department, a rare wildflower was discovered. The Common Cow-wheat is found in only one other site in Leeds, Otley Chevin, and conservation has now ‘shot up the list’ of the group’s priorities.
Common Cow-wheat is a delicate-looking plant which has a yellow flower during summer.
Launch event and clean-up
On Saturday, 18th November, Friends of Morris Wood is hosting a launch event and, in partnership with the Kirkstall Valley Community Association, jointly running a clean-up day on the site. The event starts at 9am.
Mr Meadley added:
“The group is in its very early stages, and this is a great time to get involved.”
More details on the Facebook event page.
The site lies roughly between Morris Lane and Queenswood Drive in Kirkstall, bordering the Woodbridges on the east and the Harrogate line on the west.
The woodland contains a wealth of different tree species from huge Oaks and Birches, to more youthful Beech, Cherry, Wych Elm, Hazel, Holly, Hornbeam, Rowan and more.