Memorial for Covid-19 victims memorial planned as part of huge new park on old Leeds golf course

Plans to create a ‘Covid-19 memorial woodland’ on the site of a former golf course are set to go before Leeds City Council decision-makers next week.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:58 pm

Documents released this week outline early plans for the 99-acre former South Leeds Golf Course site in Middleton, claiming brand new parkland would include a memorial wood to help remember those who died as a result of the virus.

The report, by Leeds City Council officers, claimed the wider site could also include new parkland and school sports facilities.

It added: “The land at the former golf course provides a unique opportunity to commemorate those who have tragically died during the pandemic, in addition to creating up to 48 hectares of new public parkland comprising of a network of paths, naturalistic woodland, grassland habitats, picnic areas and educational information.”

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The new parkland on the former South Leeds Golf Course could include a memorial to Covid-19 victims (file photo: James Hardisty).
The new parkland on the former South Leeds Golf Course could include a memorial to Covid-19 victims (file photo: James Hardisty).

The memorial woodland, it says, would cover 4.5 hectares and contain 9,000 trees, a wild flower meadow and wetland habitat.

Part of the remaining 44 hectares of the former golf course could also be used to accommodate sports facilities for nearby Cockburn School.

South Leeds Golf Club shut down in November 2019, at which point the administrators were called in.

The land, which had been leased by the club, was given back to the council in March 2020.

The report warned that the site was not currently being managed, and could become a magnet for fly tipping and illegal occupation if something was not done soon.

It added: “Creating a memorial woodland and public park in this area will dissuade such activity and provide the local community with all the economic, health and biodiversity benefits resulting from good quality green space.

“Furthermore, the creation of a memorial woodland fits well with the aspiration to develop the former golf course into naturalistic parkland which will secure the future of the site and enable it to be integrated with the wider Middleton Park estate.”

Members of Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked to start a consultation on the new parkland, and to put £700,000 towards creating the memorial woodland.

It is hoped work can start on the new woodland later this year, for an opening in February 2022.

Members of board will discuss the plans on Wednesday, June 23.