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West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways

About the park:
The West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways trail is a 32km circular trail running from the city centre, through the green corridor of the Aire Valley and into the countryside around Calverley. From there the trail follows the green corridor between Leeds and Bradford, moving through the countryside south of Pudsey before finally entering the urban areas of Armley and Wortley.

Recent improvements:
Grants from Green Leeds and the Big Lottery Fund have enabled us to make interpretation boards, seating, signage and a nature trail leaflet.  Other improvements so far have included commissioning a sculpture, improving bridleways and restoring some wild flower meadows.

Future developments:
Path and step improvements in Armley and Gotts Park using a woodland access grant scheme besides a woodland thinning and picnic area refurbishment at Dunkirk Hill which overlooks the Aire Valley and the Leeds Industrial Museum.

Preserving the countryside around West Leeds for wildlife is also an important element of the initiative and will be instigated through the Parks & Countryside Service in conjunction with local community groups and organisations. Projects will aim to maintain and improve the habitats and wildlife that are part of the Coal Measures Natural Area of West Leeds and also support key aspects of the Biodiversity Action Plan for Leeds.

Vistor Centre
The West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre in Pudsey Park keeps captive indigenous species ranging from birds, mammals and fish and explains the different habitats in the park and how they benefit wildlife.

For further details contact: Douglas Louis, Country Park and Green Gateways Officer on tel: 0113 3957400

Short-term objectives

Examine the feasibility of extending the Country Park and Green Gateways area to include greenspace around the south of New Farnley and in towards Beeston Royds - Completed

Explore potential routes from Beeston Royd, Post Hill and/or Silver Royd Hill to Armley and the City Centre to create a complete circular route. Route to use existing green corridors and/or greenspaces as “stepping stones” - Completed

Once the route is affirmed produce a standard interpretation board for the Country Park and Gateways scheme. Suggest compartmentalise the Park due to its size so the interpretation boards within each compartment contain a simple generic map of the Park along with a more detailed map for the compartment in question - Completed

Produce a general leaflet about the Country Park and the Green Gateways. Supplement this with specific leaflets for each compartment within the Park - Completed

Establish a framework with Bradford so cross-border issues can be discussed and acted upon. This will have particular relevance to the various Public Rights of Way that cross the boundary and in the development of mini circular trails - In progress

Way mark key routes through the site and spur paths to sites of interest and ensure these are included in the leaflets - In progress
Set up a consultative forum that will include key stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the development of the Country Park and Green Gateways - Completed

Organise a number of guided walks through the proposed area using the Countryside Rangers and volunteers - On-going ​

Medium-term objectives

Organise a number of bigger events with the emphasis on promoting health in all its guises. Orienteering, horse riding, cross-country running, walking, mountain bike rides and conservation work - On-going

Improve key Public Rights of Way within the site and develop a West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways Trail for walkers, horse riders and mountain bike riders - On-going

Select sites within the Country Park and Green Gateways that would benefit from conservation works e.g. pond construction, wild flower meadow establishment or restoration, hedge planting, tree plantations, fencing and dry stone walling - On-going
Formal framework with the various stakeholders to implement improvements in the greenspace areas - On-going

Seek grants to improve or provide facilities to the various greenspaces. For example the installation of  seats, picnic tables, steps, ramps and directional signage. Also to include removal of fly-tipped waste and general litter besides installing appropriate barriers to prevent unauthorised access - On-going

Look at creating mini circular trails within the Country Park & Green Gateways area - In progress

Develop a management plan for the initiative that encompasses the various sites, links, consultation and objectives - Completed

Long-term objectives

Resolve outstanding ownership of various greenspaces that lie within the area of the proposed Country Park and Green Gateways - On-going

Develop and expand access to new areas of greenspace within the urban and countryside areas that will positively contribute to the initiative - On-going

Where appropriate open up new public rights of way or permissive ways to provide links between various existing public rights of way and thereby develop continuity in routes through the proposed Country Park and Green Gateways - On-going ​