Friday, 9 January 2015
From small beginnings...
It doesn't look much, does it? But this is the beginnings of a rather lovely venture up by Hirst Lock, about half a mile out of Saltaire.
Hirst Wood Regeneration Group is a community group, founded in 2000 and based in the small, nearby estate of Hirst Wood. They have over the years had a major impact in the community, founding among other things a community orchard, getting a new children's playground built and planting a community garden around Hirst Lock (seen in the background of my photo) on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
They've now been successful in getting approval and some initial funding to develop a small nature reserve adjacent to the canal and community garden, on a boggy field which has until now been unused and rather scruffy. They have already made huge progress in clearing the site (all done by volunteers) and have built walls and a seating area. It looks as though one part will become a dipping pond; such fun for kids to see what squiggly little creatures they can dredge up in nets.
In their own words: 'Our plan is to turn an untidy piece of bogland into a nature reserve that will be a haven for wildlife, a delight for visitors and an outdoor classroom for youngsters. It's an ambitious project but we believe that with our enthusiasm and hard work it will be a success.'
It's wonderful that people have the vision and drive for such things. It will be great when it's finished and, being so close to the canal and the ancient woodland of Hirst Wood itself, I'm sure it will attract lots of birds and other wildlife.