Yorkshire Wildlife Trust "delighted" after Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve saved

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is "delighted" after Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve was saved by Leeds Council in a one pound purchase.

By Daniel Sheridan
Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 11:45 am

Kirkstall Valley Nature reserve, which sits on the site of the former Kirkstall Power Station, is thought to be home to more than 130 species of plants and 65 species of birds.

Owners of the site National Grid had recently placed it up for auction via Allsop’s, which listed the 30-acre site, which appears to take up roughly half of the reserve, with a guide price of just “£500+”.

According to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the site’s meadows sustain a “myriad of insect life including the small copper butterfly”, as well as young woodland with fruit-bearing shrubs attracting feeding birds, while ponds and ditches host populations of toads, frogs and newts.

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cc Mary-Beth Whittingstall

More than 130 plant species have been recorded on site along with 65 species of birds.

Leeds residents were left devastated by the potential sale and change of use of the Nature Reserve.

However, it was announced on Monday that the Reserve will now be saved by Leeds Council.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said it was "delighted" at the acquisition.

cc Mary-Beth Whittingstall

Mike Winstanley, Regional Manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re delighted that Leeds City Council has successfully acquired part of Kirkstall Valley nature reserve, and we are very grateful to all of the local campaigners and communities who spoke up to protect the future of this precious space for nature.

"We look forward to working in partnership with the council to keep this nature reserve a special place for wildlife and people alike.”

Upon the Council acquiring the land, it is initially intended that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust continue to undertake maintenance, management and conservation work.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have expressed their interest in continuing to manage the site.

The acquisition of the land at a value of £1 will be funded from the Asset Management and Regeneration Service budget of the Council.

The Nature Reserve has now been pulled from auction and purchased by the council, a signed report stated.

Nicola Slater, Portfolio Manager for National Grid said: “National Grid has a nationwide programme to reduce land holdings that do not support its core business activities. As part of this programme, we are delighted to be able to gift this land to Leeds City Council for a nominal sum so it can remain in public use for many generations to come.”

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