Herd Farm says ‘Bonjour’ to the Grand Départ

Picture caption: Pupils from Colton Primary School help the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress open the new mountain bike trail at Herd Farm Activity Centre.

Leeds pupils and the Lord Mayor of Leeds have officially opened a new mountain bike trail and launched a programme of residential packages at Leeds City Council’s Herd Farm Activity Centre this week, to celebrate the Tour de France Grand Départ coming to Leeds this summer.

Pupils from Colton Primary School, Rodillian Academy and members of the South Leeds Youth Hub youth board, were the first to try out the brand new mountain bike trail, which makes its way around the perimeter of the 16 Acre Herd Farm site, overlooked by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray and Lady Mayoress Mrs Edna Murray.

The Lord Mayor unveiled a plaque to commemorate the launch of the new mountain bike trail which goes the full circumference of Herd Farm site, along with a programme of Tour de France-themed residential packages, especially created for school and youth groups as part of the build-up to the Yorkshire Grand Départ.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray said:“This new trail is fantastic; the children from Colton Primary and Rodillian had a great time trying it out! We are really keen that the whole city is able to benefit from the Grand Départ coming to Leeds, and with new facilities like this we can ensure there is a lasting legacy of this amazing event.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “Herd Farm provides a valuable resource for Leeds children and young people, giving them a chance to learn important life skills whilst having a great time.

“With this new mountain bike trail and all these great activities planned at Herd Farm, the children and young people of Leeds are really going to get be able to into the Tour de France spirit.”

Herd Farm overlooks the Tour de France route and, as part of the Council’s offer for children and young people to engage with the event, a variety of cycling activities and residential packages will take place from mid-March right through to the autumn. Activities range from mini Tour de France races and BMX challenges to cycle maintenance workshops and all-terrain mountain biking on the brand new mountain bike trail. Individual cycling sessions take in the Emmerdale TV set on the Harewood Estate, plus there will be Tour de Farm trails between Herd Farm and Lineham Farm. Herd Farm has a full range of mountain bikes and a purpose-built cycle compound for disabled riders, along with a range of adapted bikes, from trikes to quads.

Other activities on offer include arts and crafts, T-shirt printing, film nights, bush craft, high/low ropes, archery, giant swing and zip wire. Skilled and experienced staff can create bespoke programmes to suit each group’s unique needs and abilities. All activities are designed to recognise individual achievement while promoting team work and co-operation.

Herd Farm offers accommodation for up to 42 people. Residential stays which can be one, two or four night packages include meals freshly prepared by the on-site chef to each group’s dietary requirements. The Centre can also arrange transport to bring groups direct from/to their locations.

Notes to editors:

Herd Farm Residential Activity Centre, owned and run by Leeds City Council, makes a difference to children's and young people's lives by developing skills and building confidence through challenging indoor and outdoor activities provided by dedicated staff in a safe and inclusive environment. Since opening in 2000, thousands of local children and young people have benefitted from staying at this converted farmhouse set in 16 acres of woods and rolling farmland bordering the Harewood Estate. A recent finalist in the British Gas-sponsored Child Friendly Leeds Awards (Best Place for Children and Young People category), Herd Farm is seven miles from Leeds City Centre with easy access from the A61 Harrogate Road.

To book a residential stay or individual session, people can contact Herd Farm on: 0113 378 3088 or email: herdfarm@leeds.gov.uk


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk