A KEIGHLEY councillor is backing an appeal by the Woodland Trust to expand historic Holme House Woods.

The charity is appealing for £15,000 from the public to help buy seven acres of land that border the existing woods.

The Trust is covering some of the £92,000 cost with a legacy, and is applying for £40,000 from grant-givers and charitable trusts.

But it hopes townspeople will help fund the shortfall so it can buy the piece of land, which lies at the Goose Eye end of the woods, directly below Laycock.

The trust’s campaign has been backed by Keighley West ward councillor Brian Morris.

He said: “I’m not a tree-hugging person, but we’ve lost enough woodland as time has gone on, and it’s a super idea to replace it.”

Cllr Morris and fellow Keighley town councillor, Peter Corkindale, have been campaigning for existing footpaths to be extended between the woods and Goose Eye, creating a through-route from Keighley town centre to Keighley Moor.

Cllr Morris said he would be taking the Woodland Trust’s appeal to Keighley Town Council to seek funding.

The Woodland Trust is responsible for 17 acres of woodland in Higher and Lower Holme House Woods. They run along a valley with Fell Lane and Oakworth on one side, and Braithwaite and Laycock on the other.

The woods are regarded as a haven for wildlife, with vivid displays of wildflowers.

Sara Wood, regional development officer for the Woodland Trust, said the seven acres of land available for purchase would provide a buffer between the ancient woodland and any future development.

She said: “We will work closely with the local community to plant more trees, creating new walking routes for old and young to enjoy. It’s been many years since we’ve been able to make such an acquisition in Yorkshire and we don’t want to miss the opportunity. Securing this land will have a hugely positive impact.”

Contact Sara on 08452 935793 or sarawood@woodlandtrust.co.uk for further information.