By Tim Barber, Wade’s Charity
Global Earth Day has been growing in importance since 1970 and yesterday’s annual event was bigger than ever.
Wade’s Charity embraces the celebrations as the green spaces which Wade’s owns around the city play a crucial role in providing a place where Leeds residents can exercise, relax, get closer to nature and improve both their physical and mental well- being.
Wade’s Charity – Leeds oldest independent charitable trust has been helping the lives of residents of Leeds since it was founded in 1530. Providing large areas of parkland, city centre and community open spaces, recreation grounds and sports fields across the old pre-1974 Leeds City.
Wade’s parkland such as Middleton Park, Gotts Park in Armley and Beckett Park in Headingley are vital “lungs” where inner city residents can enjoy both relaxation and amusement.
Playing fields and recreations grounds owned by Wade’s are to be found throughout its territory including: Rodley, Adel, Osmondthorpe, East Leeds, Cross Green, Hunslet and Burmantofts. These spaces provide vital venues for scores of local sports clubs and teams as well as places for residents to exercise, unwind, relax and simply have fun.
Working with Leeds City Council and community groups, Wade’s has contributed financially to the improvement of these green spaces with tree planting initiatives such as the Old Nine Tree Trail and the Spring Flowering Avenue project at Middleton Park.
As well as these green initiatives, local volunteers are encouraged to get involved with many sustainable projects, all of which fit perfectly with Earth Day 2023’s mission of “Investing in our Planet”.
The charity also has substantial areas of communal open space where local groups help in their care such as woodland at Gledhow and an orchard in Far Headingley.
So whilst Earth Day is very much a global initiative, it is wonderful that a local charity founded nearly 500 years ago is still innovating and embracing this modern day movement, whilst making a real difference to the lives of the people of Leeds, whilst having a positive effect on the city’s sustainable credentials.