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What's New Archive for 2014

26th November 2014
Meeting with LCC Forestry Officer about the Selective Tree Felling Programme

There will be a meeting with Leeds City Council Forestry Officer Justin Williamson on Saturday 13 December to discuss the Council's Selective Tree Felling Programme in Gledhow Valley Woods.

The meeting will be in the form of a walkthrough in the affected area and is open to anyone with questions and/or concerns about the plans.

Please meet at the Bath House on Gledhow Valley Road at 9.30am on Saturday 13 December

There is also an independent web site dedicated to this issue which details some of the pros and cons and which includes information concerning what to do for anyone who disagrees with the Council's plans:

13th October 2014
Selective Tree Felling Programme to Protect the Woods

There is to be a programme of selective tree felling in the coming winter period in the compartments of woodland either side of Gledhow Valley Road, between the lake and the Bath House. Trees to be felled have been marked with green spots. The trees marked include as many obviously failing trees as possible.

The programme has been planned by Leeds City Council in consultation and agreement with the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods. The Woods have a Management Plan and the felling is in accordance with that plan.

Following on from this there will also be a programme of planting/restocking.

The compartments concerned consist predominantly of over mature beech trees, which were probably planted in the early part of the twentieth century, after the First World War, to replace timber removed for the war effort. We are not sure of the ethos behind the decision to plant single species woodland, other than for harvesting at some point. These areas consist of single species, same age beech trees, reaching the end of their lifespan.

Thus the woodland concerned is designated as a Plantation on Ancient Woodland i.e. an artificial creation which is suppressing the natural woodland vegetation.

As per the Management Plan, this selective felling aims to break up some of these even aged stands to increase light levels to the woodland floor and increase species and age diversity.

The long term vision, as per the Management Plan is to manipulate the woodland structure to increase age and species diversity, thus increasing the overall biodiversity and move towards sustainable habitats.

The Objectives of the Management Plan are to:

  1. Maintain semi-natural woodland types.
  2. Maintain and develop a diverse age-class structure.
  3. Encourage species diversity.
  4. Enhance sustainable habitats.
  5. Encourage natural regeneration and supplement by enrichment planting/restocking.
  6. Maintain and enhance safe public access for all abilities.
If we were to leave these beech woodlands alone, then at some point in the near future, these trees will fail and we or the next generation will be left with a devastated area of no trees at all.

These beech woodlands are not natural woodlands as they were uniformly planted and need managing. At this stage, the management must be to move towards a habitat that is more beneficial to wildlife, which is a mixed species, mixed age woodland that will eventually become more self sustaining.

17th September 2014
Planning Permission for Houses on Gledhow Valley Road Greenfield Land

Planning permission is currently being sought to build houses adjacent to Gledhow Valley Woods on greenfield land along Gledhow Valley Road. FGVW are opposed to any development of the meadows, grassland or woodland that is Gledhow Valley Woods. The Woods are a vital wildlife corridor that need to remain intact as the various habitats make up a wildlife haven in north east Leeds.

See Yorkshire Evening Post article
See application summary (where comments can be made)
See all Leeds City Council documents relating to the application

If you are also opposed to this development and would like to help...

There is a section for comments on the Leeds City Council web site.

The more people that leave a comment the better. It is best if people use their own words, but here are a few ideas for the sort of issues you might like to mention:

  • The proposed development is at the narrowest point of the green corridor that is Gledhow Valley Road and would essentially split the corridor in two.
  • It would narrow the green space considerably.
  • Concreting over of a large area of ancient fields would lead to increased surface water run-off into the beck and much less permeable land for the water to drain.
  • There is a history of flooding along that part of the beck, which has not been resolved by the new grate on the beck.
  • There would be an increased amount of sewage into a system that already has major un-resolved problems. Whenever it rains heavily, sewage flows into the beck from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) along the length of Gledhow Beck. One of the worst offenders is the CSO at the proposed entrance to the development.
  • To attempt to resolve the sewage issue, a large underground sewage interceptor tank was installed at the entrance to the proposed development which has been a spectacular failure in preventing sewage entering the beck. Thus when the beck floods, the area is covered with sewage. Would you want to live in a house there?
  • There is a Leeds City Council designation that this specific site is not suitable for housing:
    - www.leeds.gov.uk/SiteAllocationMaps/HMAP16.pdf
    - www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Site-allocations-gridmap-housing.aspx
  • There would be an impact of additional housing on local services. The local primary schools and doctors' surgeries are already over subscribed and full.
  • There would be additional traffic from 30 plus cars on a road with a history of accidents, especially at the adjacent junction of Gledhow Lane and Gledhow Valley Road.
  • The land is in the Gledhow Valley Conservation Area as well as being in the area known as Gledhow Valley Woods. The open areas are at a premium yet are vital habitats for a range of animals, insects and birds.
  • Since the land is in the Gledhow Valley Conservation Area, any housing would need to maintain the character of the area. The current plans and descriptions look like very traditional volume house building. To build on green space, schemes need to be of outstanding architectural quality and very low environmental impact. There is no evidence of this.

NOTE: Comments must be submitted by Friday 3 October 2014

17th August 2014
Bath House Open Day on Sunday 14 September 2014

The Gipton Spa Bath House on Gledhow Valley Road will be open to the public under the supervision of FGVW members from 1.30-4.30pm on Sunday 14th September 2014 to correspond with the country-wide "Heritage Open Days" event.

...Come along for your free tour!

There will also be refreshments and an FGVW stall promoting the group, selling merchandise (including mugs, coasters, Christmas cards, badges, greetings cards, postcards, etc.), and providing general information about the Bath House, the woods, and the Group itself.

We need help with home-made refreshments for the Bath House Open Day - if you might be able to help, please contact us.

Details of previous Bath House Open Day events, including photos, are available in the Events Gallery.

07 July 2014
15th FGVW Family FunDay - A Great Success!

The Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods' 15th Annual Family FunDay was a great success, and once again we were lucky enough to have nice weather. Hundreds of local people came to join in the fun, and photos can be seen in the Events Gallery.

As always, we would like to say a very big "thank you" to everyone who helped... those who spent hours assembling tents all morning; those who provided home-made food for the refreshments tent and prizes for the raffle; those who helped run the stalls and activities, and sold raffle tickets; those who helped pack everything away at the end of the day; and the many local businesses which generously donated raffle prizes. Without this help the event would not have been possible.

Details of what happened at the FunDay, including photographs and a 360 degree panorama of the event in full swing are now available in the Events Gallery.

06 July 2014
Skipton Building Society "Grassroots Giving" Funding Campaign

In 2013, Grassroots Giving gave 160 donations of £500 to small, community-minded groups, clubs and organisations across the UK including FGVW. The winners were typically overlooked for funding from other sources due to them being so small in size. Not only that, but the scheme even supported those who didn't win any money, through the use of free downloadable resources from the Grassroots Giving website.

Grassroots Giving was launched last year to celebrate the Skipton Building Society's 160th anniversary. Around 1,000 organisations from across the country applied to win one of the 160 pots of £500 and more than 20,000 people voted for their favourites from a shortlist.

This year, Grassroots Giving is going one better by giving away 161 pots of £500, a total of £80,500 and applications are now open until 31 July 2014.

How to get involved?

If you, your family or friends are involved in a community organisation, you can apply for funding from the Grassroots Giving programme. You'll find full details and an application form at www.skiptongrg.co.uk. Visit @SkiptonBS_GRG on twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news from Grassroots Giving on social media.

23 May 2014
15th FGVW Family FunDay Coming 14 June 2014

The Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods invite you to their 15th Annual Family FunDay!

The FunDay brings local people together for an afternoon of fun, activities and entertainment focussing on the local woodland and the plants and wildlife that live there. There are loads of displays, activities, games and entertainments to keep the whole family busy, not to mention home-made refreshments and live music!

When & where:

  • Saturday June 14th 2014 (1.30pm - 5.00pm)
    Grassland area adjacent to Gledhow Valley Road and Allerton Grange Way.

Activities include:

  • Animal visitors from Morley Exotic Animal Rescue
  • Live music from The Roundhay Ukulele Group and The Turnarounds
  • Talon Falconry birds of prey
  • Children's Magic Show from Jonty the Magician
  • Drum circle with Daftasadrum
  • Bees and beekeeping
  • Plant sale
  • Radish bookshop
  • Face painting
  • Parachute games
  • Circus skills
  • T-shirt design
  • Grand raffle
  • Tin Can Alley
  • Firefighters
  • Clay modelling
  • Bird box making
  • Start birdwatching
  • Home-made refreshments
  • Find out what the Friends are doing to enhance your local woodland
  • FGVW gift stall including coasters, mugs, postcards, greetings cards, badges, etc.
  • ...And much more!

Please can you help?

We badly need volunteers who can help out on the FunDay either by bringing food for the refreshments stall, helping to put up the tents and marquees in the morning, or helping to look after the stalls or sell raffle tickets in the afternoon.

  • If you are able to spare any time, please contact us and let us know.

It doesn't matter if you can only spare an hour ...all help will be gratefully appreciated!

We also need prizes for the Raffle.

  • If you are able to help with any prizes, please contact us and let us know.

Have a look in the Events Gallery to find out what happened at last year's Family FunDay.

28 April 2014
Bluebells Now in Bloom!

The bluebells are now in full bloom in Gledhow Valley Woods! If you want to see them, don't wait too long - they're usually only at their best for a few weeks, depending on how kind the weather is.

10 January 2014
FGVW AGM Coming Friday 24 January 2014!

Happy New Year!

The FGVW Annual General Meeting is to be held on Friday 24 January 2014 (7.30pm onwards).

The Three Hulats Pub (13 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton) has kindly agreed to host the meeting once again. Food will be provided, and all are welcome to attend. The positions of Chair, Treasurer and Secretary are open for voting.

It would be helpful to know how many people might attend so please, if possible, contact us to let us know you're coming.

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