Public meeting debates future of Kirkstall Abbey grounds

abbey house garden-2
Photo: Mindy Goose

Kirkstall is a wonderful part of Leeds, which is a fantastic city for public parks and spaces, writes Jim Corah.

As a Kirkstall resident I am immensely proud of Kirkstall Abbey Grounds, sitting alongside the River Aire and next to the A65. I always smile wide whenever a friend or family member praises the park.

Thing is, it is a little behind with the times. Yes, we’ve got the grounds around the museum and Abbey, though they are lacking compared to some of the other parks across Leeds.

abbey house garden-1
Planning the future: Abbey House Gardens. Photo: Mindy Goose

If I am being honest, Kirkstall Abbey and museum grounds could do with some TLC and attention. I am fairly sure that I’m not the only member of the public who would like to lend a hand to help our park be awesome.

The three Kirkstall Ward councillors are holding a public meeting to discuss the future development of the Abbey grounds and gardens. I will be there both in my capacity as a committee member for Kirkstall in Bloom as well as a regular user of the grounds.

The meeting will be on Saturday 26th January, 2-4pm at Abbey Visitors’ Centre.

The purpose of the meeting is to develop a plan for the future development of the Abbey grounds and gardens.

This will include discussing what to do with the disused bowling green, how to make better use of the riverside as a recreational area and how to develop the gardens.

We are also looking for volunteers who can work with Kirkstall in Bloom and the council to develop and maintain the gardens, including the medicinal garden.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but have ideas to contribute, contact Cllr Venner at

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