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Plan to turn Guard House scrubland into woods
Seven acres of overgrown scrubland in the Guard House area of Keighley will be transformed into public woodland under ambitious plans by Keighley Town Council.
Although a public right of way passes through the site on the north side of the beck, the land is overgrown and has been a target for fly-tippers for years.
The council’s allotments and landscapes committee agreed on Monday to create a new native woodland containing fruit trees and natural flowers and plants.
The council will plant dozens of trees on the site during coming years in the hope the project will attract more wildlife, as well as giving the people of Keighley a new open space to enjoy. Extra tree planting would also reduce the risk of flooding.
Committee chairman, Councillor Brian Morris, said the council would part-fund the project, and hoped grants from various different organisations would give them a healthy budget. He admits the woodland would take “many years” to complete.
Coun Morris said it was not uncommon to find things like fridges left on the land. He added: “We will need to clear a lot of rubbish that’s been dumped there first, then we can look at sourcing trees.
“We want to get schools involved, get kids down to plant bluebells. If they get involved they will be more likely to go back to the woods.
“It is a big project and it is going to cost some money, but at the end of the day, everyone is going to benefit, including local wildlife.”
Coun Morris said: “There is a public right of way that passes through there, and we want to link that up with areas like Holme House Wood.
“The land is quite steep, so what better way to reduce flooding and stabilise the ground than plant some trees?”