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All's good at Wells Wood

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Published by Richard Lord for Wakefield & District Housing in Housing and also in Communities, Education, Environment, Health

Volunteers brave the soggy weather to improve the entrance to Wells Wood in Ferry Fryston, West Yorkshire. Volunteers brave the soggy weather to improve the entrance to Wells Wood in Ferry Fryston, West Yorkshire.

A group of residents from Ferry Fryston in West Yorkshire braved the soggy September weather to help revitalise the entrance of a local woodland area.

The overgrown and unkempt entrance to Wells Wood, at the top of Borrowdale Drive, received a special makeover as part of Wakefield and District Housing’s (WDH) ‘Love Where You Live’ project.

‘Love Where You Live’ is a national campaign, led by Keep Britain Tidy, which has seen WDH help residents across the district to make environmental improvements to a range of local communities.

Residents worked with WDH – including their chief executive Kevin Dodd – to clear the wood’s entrance of litter and lay a new path to encourage more people to visit. Plants and trees native to the area, like blackthorn and willow, will be planted later in the year.

Claire Whitehead, 34, from Delacy Crescent in Ferry Fryston, said: “I got involved because I live locally and use the woods to walk my two dogs. It’s great that WDH have helped us to do this work because a lot of people here will benefit from it.

“My children play in the woods all the time and they’ve joined a woodland rangers course so they’ve been learning about plants and wildlife and it’s taught them to respect the area.

“I think it’s brought a few of us together and I’m starting to see a difference – I’ve already seen more people visit the woods recently.”

WDH consulted with local community groups such as the Friends of Fryston Woods and Castleford Heritage Trust to identify what environmental improvements the residents would like to see.

Paul Roberts, woodlands access ranger from the Fryston Woods Access Programme, said: “We got involved and worked with WDH on this because it’s an opportunity to get local people out into the countryside to enjoy the nature and wildlife that’s on their doorstep.

“We’re trying to bring more attention to the entrance by enhancing it and making it more welcoming so people see it as a nice place to come to spend some time.”

WDH chief executive Kevin Dodd added: “This is part of our campaign for local residents to improve areas where they live.

“The reaction from the residents has been superb. They’ve got involved from the start and we’ve seen a passion and desire from them to take care of their communities and make them even better.”

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