Help look after a quiet corner of green

Have you ever wanted to get out of your work or home environment and spend your time in a natural place? Have you wanted to socialise with like-minded people but didn’t know where to start. Have you wanted to build up your strength and exercise without spending a fortune on gyms? Are you happy to get a bit muddy? Well if you answered yes to one or more then you are not alone and we want you to join us as often as you can.

Picture a quiet corner of green that has beautiful old trees, of often over 100 years old. British wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, squirrels, hedgehogs and maybe the occasional rarer visitor. The sound of the birds singing all around you. Spotting a Jay, maybe a Chaffinch, a Buzzard or a Tree Creeper moving from tree to tree. In the evening bats flying from their roosts hunting for flying insects. A wonderful sight if you spot them in the twilight.

Then there are the Ladybirds, Shield Bugs, Dragonflies and Butterflies to be spotted on a tree or a stone. Always favourites with children. Old gothic grade II listed buildings, amazing historical information with wonderful stories of people who have been in there. Wouldn’t this be a great place to escape to?

These wonderful places need volunteers to care for them. People who care about nature and wildlife and who want to keep them beautiful places of respite for visitors. People who want to do something that helps communities and themselves. That’s why I’m appealing for people to volunteer regularly.

Where are these places? Well that’s the surprise. These are the cemeteries in South Leeds.

Holbeck Cemetery which is on top of Beeston Hill with fantastic views of the city has a well documented history and has even been the setting for an episode of DCI Banks. Just come along on the first Saturday of the month to join the Leeds City Council countryside ranger. The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery always need new members too. Members also have the benefit of up to half price tickets at the Playhouse.

Hunslet Cemetery is actually the oldest cemetery of its type in the UK. It was opened in 1845 and also has a great story to tell. Join the Leeds City Council countryside ranger on the last Wednesday of the month. The Friends of Hunslet Cemetery recently won an award for the contribution to the community and you could help everyone achieve even more.

If you like variety we have a roaming group that meets the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. They will be at any of the cemeteries in Leeds and we will email you with information about sessions once you contact us.

We meet our volunteers at 10am and you can stay for as long as you want. You will be finished by 3pm at the latest. We will provide refreshments but you should bring your own lunch. Obviously don’t wear your best outfits and wear good strong shoes or boots. You can be young, old or in between, but children under 16 need an adult to accompany them, and under 18’s need consent.

If you want to get involved and see the benefit to everyone of improving these natural wonders then please contact or telephone 07562 439631.


This post was written by Heather Wagstaff

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