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Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods
Guest Book

View Guest Book Entries (061-090)

If you would like to send in your own comments to the Guest Book, please go to the Sign Our Guest Book page.

Entry Number & Date
090 (20-07-2006)
Name Kevin
Town/City Leeds
Comments We live just around the corner from Gledhow Valley Woods, in Well House Crescent, and regularly walk and run through these lovely woods, and very much appreciate their existence, and the work of FGVW in maintaining the woods.
My children would love to build a den or a tree house in the woods, but I first wanted to check whether this was permitted, whether there were specific parts of the woods to avoid, and what the guidelines might be for undertaking such a project in a way sensitive to the environment and the trees (for example, what would be permissible ways to secure pieces of wood/dead branches to a tree)?
FGVW Comments Regarding dens and treehouses, I'm afraid the "official" answer is basically "no". One problem is that parts of the wood are on private land, so building a den or treehouse in them would be the same as going into somebody's back garden and building one there - obviously not a good idea!
The rest of the wood is on land managed by Leeds City Council (LCC), who have a legal responsibility to oversee how it is used. They would regard treehouse construction as "interfering with a public amenity", and actively destroy and remove any treehouse or den they find out about for reasons of health and safety. For instance, any den or treehouse left in the woods is likely to be used by people other than those who created it. If anyone injured themselves whilst using it, and the council knew it was there, then the council could be sued.
Also, any secluded structure is eventually likely to attract drug users and/or prostitutes (the Bath House on Gledhow Valley Road is a classic example!). This means that there's a good chance of kids finding used needles or condoms next time they play in their den!
Finally, it would be very difficult to make a decent treehouse without causing damage to the tree itself and this again would be frowned upon by LCC.
So in summary, there's no way you'd get official permission to build a den or treehouse and if you do build one it'll get removed if/when the council find out about it.
I know this all sounds a bit party-pooper-ish, but I'm afraid that's the way it is. I'm really sorry I can't bring better news.

Entry Number & Date
089 (09-05-2006)
Name Bea
Town/City Leeds
Comments We had a walk through the woods from Brackenwood Drive to the lake and back the other evening, the new beech leaves and the bluebells gave everywhere a hazy look it was magic. The path or steps from Brackenwood drive are great - it used to be treacherous after rain. We just want to thank all concerned for all the work and time they give.

Entry Number & Date
088 (11-04-2006)
Name Alan Breen
Town/City Kuala Lumpur
Comments When I was a music student in 1975 at the music college I lived in Gledhow Hall during my final year - in the top left-hand side room as you face the front. It was owned I think by m/s Tillie Fischoff and we rented a 3 bedroom flat. We were all musicians. I stayed until 1979 when I got a contract for a Caribbean cruise. It was a wonderfully serene place to live, with squirrels scampering along tree branches - even the garages, later canibalised, had ornate corner cupboards. We were snowed in for weeks during a particularly fierce winter of, I think,1978 and this brought weeks of tranquility as the snow muffled the sound of footsteps and traffic.

Entry Number & Date
087 (05-04-2006)
Name Howard Toll
Town/City Wilsden
Comments Looks very impressive, look forward to seeing you on 20th May 2006.

Entry Number & Date
086 (04-01-2006)
Name Glen McHugh
Town/City Gildersome/Leeds
Comments As a kid I spent all my summer holidays with my two brothers Arthur & Gary, exploring the woods lake and the "Roman Baths" as we called it. I also remember a very large tree at the start of the lake that had some sort of tunnel or cave beneath it - does anyone else remember it too?

Entry Number & Date
085 (26-08-2005)
Name Anonymous
Town/City Paris
Comments I love the forest, it is very beautiful. I saw a bird which was flying. I came to England for an exchange. I also came last year. I think that you should do tours of the forest so everyone can see it's beautiful. Also I would like to know the names of the flowers. We do not get these beautiful flowers in France. I also saw a fox in the forest. Are a lot of foxes in the forest?
FGVW Comments You can find the names of most of the plants in the woods on the Plants (A-Z by Common Name) page in the Flora & Fauna section. There are a lot of foxes in the woods, and the Flora & Fauna section of the site also has information about these urban foxes.

Entry Number & Date
084 (26-08-2005)
Name Anonymous
Town/City Leeds
Comments Is it true that JRR Tolkien had some sort of link with the woods?
FGVW Comments That's an interesting question... but I'm afraid the answer is probably 'no'.
In 1920 Tolkien was appointed "Reader in English Language" at Leeds University, and his family did live in Leeds for a time. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any written evidence of a link between him and the woods.
During the early 1900's, Gledhow Valley was not easy to get to using public transport but the Tolkiens were not particularly well off and had no car or private transport. It was also undergoing a lot of construction work (see A Photographic History), which suggests that it probably wasn't the sort of place people would travel to for recreation.
So whilst it is possible Tolkien visited the woods, it isn't all that likely... but if someone out there knows different please Contact Us and let us know.

Entry Number & Date
083 (22-07-2005)
Name Jamie
Town/City Gledhow
Comments I was wondering, has there ever been any fox hunting in the woods?
Also, is anything ever going to be done about the mess along the stream on Allerton Grange Way?
FGVW Comments Historically there has been fox hunting the area, at least around the 16th to 18th centuries. Originally, most estate owners had their own private hunting packs and fox hunting occurred almost daily. Due to complaints from local tenant farmers and others sick of having their fields and allotments trampled, laws were eventually passed to control the 'sport' and private packs joined together to form the Leeds Hunt. The area was perfect for hunting - an undulating rural countryside of fields, small hamlets (including Gledhow), brooks and meadows. The Leeds Hunt eventually succumbed to the onslaught of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, when small villages amalgamated into the rapidly expanding Leeds metropolitan area.
In an earlier Guest Book entry (number 34), Sue Murray reported that in recent years local foxes have been killed by men with dogs, snares, and guns. She also mentioned that if "you ever see anybody hunting wild animals in the woods by these or any other means, it is worth reporting to the police because Gledhow Woods and other areas of council land are protected by a bylaw that makes it an offence to kill any wild animals (yes, that does include squirrels!) and you can get help".
If you haven't already read them, you might like to look at the Feeding and Interacting with Urban Foxes and Foxes in the Smog pages.
Concerning the stream, some wooden panels were recently dumped there... the Friends are aware of this and will hopefully help clear them when they are next able to get a skip at that end of the woods, if they haven't already been removed by the Council by then. Please remember that the Friends group has no more responsibility for keeping the woods free of rubbish than any other local resident... but we do our best!
If you spot large amounts of rubbish dumped in the woods, Leeds City Council should be contacted as soon as possible - see the Troubleshooting Contacts List for details of who to call.

Entry Number & Date
082 (22-07-2005)
Name Jeremy Abrahams
Town/City Briton Ferry
Comments Now living just outside Swansea in the little village of Briton Ferry. I once lived not far from Gledhow Woods. I used to pop down from where I lived in Lincombe Mount, Brackenwood... Spent many a time playing with friends, picknicks and riding my bike. That was over thirty years ago!

Entry Number & Date
081 (15-07-2005)
Name Malcolm & Audrey Robertson
Town/City Coin, Malaga, Spain
Comments As expats it's good to see a little bit of area that we know so well. Thanks to our friends Joan and Mervyn for helping us as we are beginners at this game. Astounded at how much and how many people are involved. Keep up the good work... will continue to check regularly.

Entry Number & Date
080 (23-05-2005)
Name Cheryl
Town/City Leeds
Comments I have lived in the area most of my 37 years and love the woods, Me, my brother and sister were always exploring new bits of the woods as we ventured further into the woods than we were allowed to by our parents. My older sister Dawn once pushed me into Gledhow lake!
I brought two of my daughters to the Family FunDay this year, both the 4 year old and 16 year old equally had lots of fun, as did I. Someone took a photo of my 4 year old Antonia and her friend Georgia with their faces painted, they asked if they could put it on the website, we agreed, when will it be on here?
FGVW Comments After a rather long delay (sorry!), the photo is now here on the Family FunDay 2005 page in the Events Gallery, and there's also a 360 degree panoramic image showing the event in full swing.

Entry Number & Date
079 (16-05-2005)
Name John
Town/City Houston, Texas
Comments Very nice site. Will sure visit again.

Entry Number & Date
078 (14-05-2005)
Name Simon Harris
Town/City Gledhow, Leeds
Comments Yet another great Family FunDay! I made a bat box this year and bought a few bits of your merchandise. Will you be selling any merchandise on your website?
Thanks for all your hard work!
FGVW Comments Thanks for your comments - glad you enjoyed the FunDay! We will hopefully be selling FGVW merchandise on the web site soon.

Entry Number & Date
077 (06-05-2005)
Name Anonymous
Town/City Leeds
Comments Just to say how much we appreciate all you do for the wood and us its users. We walk our dog there every day and enjoy it so much. Thank you for the litter picking, rhododendron clearing etc... And the lovely benches. Keep up the good work. Life at the moment means we aren't much practical use to the group but we are very grateful.

Entry Number & Date
074 (06-05-2005)
Name Lucy Varo
Town/City Leeds
Comments I think that what you are doing is a great idea. I have been once to help clean up the woods and I thought it was good and it only takes an hour or so of your time and you have the rest of the day to do what you want. THANK YOU

Entry Number & Date
073 (06-05-2005)
Name Phill
Town/City Leeds
Comments With regards Carolan's message about planning permission at the bottom of the paddock... I have noticed this week that Yorkshire Water have started erecting cabins & doing some excavation work at the site entrance! I wonder if this work is for the storm drains... or preparation work for any future developement that the council wish to keep hush for the moment?

Entry Number & Date
072 (15-04-2005)
Name Carolan
Town/City Leeds
Comments There was a rumour circulating which suggested that the woods at the bottom of the Pastures, opposite GVW had planning consent. I have spoken to LCC Planning Dept and have been told that there has been no permission sought or granted. Thank god my bats, foxes, owls and hawk are safe, and even the great tit that wakes me up every morning! Any suggestions on how to ensure it stays that way?
FGVW Comments Plans are being prepared by the Gledhow Conservation Group to turn Gledhow Valley Woods into a conservation area, which may help with this issue (see Minutes of Core Group Meeting 18th November 2004). To find out more please contact David Heaton on 266 8577.

Entry Number & Date
071 (27-03-2005)
Name Andy
Town/City Scarborough
Comments A well designed and informative site, particularly as I am involved in the early stages of starting up a woodland Friends group. Well done!
FGVW Comments Thanks for your kind comments Andy, and good luck with your group - please let us know if you set up a web site and we'll add a link on our Links page :o)

Entry Number & Date
070 (14-03-2005)
Name Anonymous
Town/City Newcastle
Comments Really interesting site.

Entry Number & Date
069 (26-02-2005)
Name Emily and Sophie
Town/City Leeds
Comments We walked over the lovely new paths and had a look at Gledhow Hall and seen the ducks on the lake. We had a great Saturday morning exploring the woods, but the one thing we did not like was seeing the great big rat running under the bush - Yuk!

Entry Number & Date
068 (21-02-2005)
Name Melanie
Town/City Gillingham
Comments Very informative - thank you. Just what I needed as we had a fox in our garden last week which was lovely... I hope it comes back!

Entry Number & Date
067 (16-02-2005)
Name Ellis Charlton
Town/City Leeds
Comments This website is really cool!

Entry Number & Date
066 (16-02-2005)
Name Joan's Grandaughter
Town/City Leeds, I'm in an ICT Class
Comments Hi grandma and grandad hope you are all OK. Hi Rosie as well. I'm in school and it's brill. I need a couple more ducks.
Love you all loads, Ellis xoxoxox

Entry Number & Date
065 (23-01-2005)
Name Simon Harris
Town/City Gledhow, Leeds
Comments Yay! I've got some birds that are now nesting in my bird box which I made at the Family FunDay.
FGVW Comments Excellent... well done! :o)
If you manage to take any pictures that you don't mind sharing, let us know and we'll add them to the Guest Galleries section.

Entry Number & Date
064 (15-01-2005)
Name Simon Harris
Town/City Gledhow, Leeds
Comments Do you do any merchandise at all? If you do I would buy loads (lol)!
FGVW Comments We don't have any Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods merchandise at the moment, but it's an interesting idea. I had actually been wondering about producing a set of postcards (which would be a small start). If we do start selling anything I'll let everyone know in the regular Update e-mail as well as on the web site.

Entry Number & Date
063 (15-01-2005)
Name Mark
Town/City York
Comments At last, the internet being used for something good! I spent many a weekend as a child exploring those woods... brings back a lot of memories.
Keep up the good work.

Entry Number & Date
062 (14-01-2005)
Name Paul Fryer
Town/City London
Comments I haven't lived in Leeds for years but I had a dream about the bathhouse in GVW last night, and so it was satisfying to be able to remind myself of how it looked, and to see the woods where I played as a child.
Congratulations for all your efforts.

Entry Number & Date
061 (11-01-2005)
Name Joyce Burrow
Town/City Canada
Comments Hi. I am a transplanted Leeds Loiner, having emigrated to Canada in 1964. I decided to surf the web and try to bring up something about Gledhow Valley Woods. I loved the woods when I was a child and especially the Bluebells. I spent many a long day there with family and friends, picking Bluebells (is this still allowed)? and picnicing. I have wonderful memories and if I ever get over there for a visit again, I shall visit the woods. I am so happy that they are being well looked after and preserved for future generations.
Yours Truly, Joyce Burrow.

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