Wyke Beck Valley now the home to three local nature reserves

Caption: The Wyke Beck Valley Pride project has achieved a range of positive results.

Three green spaces in a popular east Leeds conservation valley have achieved Local Nature Reserve status.

Following work with Natural England, Wyke Beck Woods, Killingbeck Fields and Primrose Valley in the Wyke Beck Valley have been granted the award, which will provide further protection to these important sites. A key aim of the new designation is also to encourage more people to visit, enjoy and learn more about the greenspaces and play their part in looking after them.

This follows a wide range of successful initiatives undertaken through the Wyke Beck Valley Pride project, which included partners from Leeds City Council, the Wyke Beck Valley Community Forum and voluntary groups working in the area.

Funded by Natural England over a three-year period, the Wyke Beck Valley Pride project has now come to an end, and leaves behind it a lasting legacy of improvements to the area and a new Valley Friends Group.

To find out more information regarding the nature reserves and how people can get involved in the life of the Wyke Beck Valley, please contact Leeds City Council’s parks & countryside ranger service on: Tel: 0113 3957400 or by e-mail: parks@leeds.gov.uk.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

"I am delighted that three of the areas which make up Wyke Beck Valley have been granted Local Nature Reserve Status.

"This is fantastic recognition of the wildlife and geological features of these sites, and also the initiatives undertaken by the Wyke Beck Valley Pride project which has made a wide range of improvements to the Wyke Beck Valley as a whole.

"It is great news that we now have a new Valley Friends Group, and I really hope more people will sign up and get involved in their work. This can help ensure that progress continues to be made in the future as we explore the possibilities of two other areas in the Wyke Beck Valley also acquiring Local Nature Reserve status."

Notes to editors:

Wyke Beck Valley Pride www.wykebeckvalleypride.org.uk has been a three year, £500,000 programme to protect and enhance 82 hectares of the Wyke Beck Valley in east Leeds, including a range of partners.

The Wyke Beck Valley Community Forum was the community partnership supporting improvements in the Wyke Beck Valley.

Parks & Countryside Service is a Leeds City Council department with responsibility for the management of the city’s parks & green spaces which includes a further 156 nature conservation sites.

Contact: Parks & Countryside Service on Leeds 0113 3957400 or parks@leeds.gov.uk

Access to Nature was run by Natural England as part of The Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme launched in November 2005 to help communities enjoy and improve their local environments.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk