Open Source Arts has BIG, Creative Plans for West Leeds wild spaces

team kirkstall litter pick
Volunteers in action on the riverbank. Photo: Team Kirkstall, 2017

Open Source Arts will be delivering river stewardship volunteer days along the River Aire, to run alongside the weekend riverbank cleanups they run as Team Kirkstall. Phil Marken, from Open Source Arts, has the details …

Open Source Arts (OSA) is developing its range of riverside conservation activities for 2019.

It will continue its creative approach to stewardship with a range of outdoor furniture-making projects, art in wild places and opportunities for young people to get stuck into taking care of their micro-wildernesses.

This work builds on the already great work which OSA has done through the Team Kirkstall River Cleanups.

OSA is also pleased to be working alongside the River Stewardship Company and Groundwork NEWY delivering a programme of week-day river stewardship volunteer days, as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

These weekday sessions will complement the Team Kirkstall cleanup sessions which OSA will continue to facilitate fortnightly throughout 2019.

Team Kirkstall Hub on Kirkstall Road. Photo: Leeds City Council

OSA was impacted in 2015 by the flooding which struck Kirkstall Road on Boxing Day, and was central to the volunteer response through their opening and operation of the Kirkstall Rd. cleanup volunteer centre.

In May 2016 OSA organised the first Team Kirkstall River Cleanup, with around 65 people removing more than eight tonnes of waste from the river and banks and having a lot of fun whilst at it.

This first cleanup was so successful that OSA developed the initiative into their Team Kirkstall River Cleanups Project, providing finance, insurance, equipment in their role as parent organization, supporting a group of passionate local people who organise and attend the cleanups – thus ensuring they happen regularly.

Team Kirkstall
Busy times: Team Kirkstall flood clean-up volunteers have tidied the banks of the Aire. Photo: Open Source Arts

Since 2016, OSA has delivered over 85 similar sessions across Leeds and Bradford district and is looking forward to a super busy 2019!

For more information about any of the activities, please email

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