Big plans for Mirfield’s canal

26 Sept 2013..... Plan to turn an island on the Calder & Hebble Navigation into a thriving community park. Members of the Mirfield Community Partnership who are spearheading the project L-R Sheila Swaine, Jane Speight, Hilary Brooke,Michael Hutchinson,John Lowe,Alan Speight and Peter Swaine.
26 Sept 2013..... Plan to turn an island on the Calder & Hebble Navigation into a thriving community park. Members of the Mirfield Community Partnership who are spearheading the project L-R Sheila Swaine, Jane Speight, Hilary Brooke,Michael Hutchinson,John Lowe,Alan Speight and Peter Swaine.

Plans to turn an island on the Calder and Hebble Navigation into a thriving community park have been unveiled.

The Mirfield Promenade and Battyeford Island project aims to rejuvenate more than three miles of canal and riverside routes running through Mirfield.

The centrepiece of the project, which is being spearheaded by Mirfield Community Partnership, would be the transformation of an 800m stretch of land sandwiched between the Calder and Hebble and the River Calder.

Community orchards, wild flower meadows and a kitchen garden with medicinal herbs and edible plants could feature on the island. The proposals could also include a small archaeological project to expose historic mill buildings on the site.

Hilary Brooke, of the Mirfield Community Partnership, said: “We know that local people are already using the island and we want to improve it for them and make it a really special place for the whole community to enjoy.”

Now people are being asked for their views on how they would like to see the island rejuvenated in order to support funding bids.

Initial proposals include improved walking trails, cycle routes and fishing points.

Ms Brooke said: “We already have some ideas of our own but we’re really keen to hear how local people would like to see the island improved as ultimately the park will belong to them.

“The island can be a real focal point for the community somewhere for people to relax, learn and get closer to nature and we really can’t wait to get started.”

The work is being planned in conjunction with the Canal and River Trust and Groundwork Wakefield.

Ms Brooke hopes improvements to riverside walkways will extend from Cooper Bridge all the way to Ravensthorpe and down to Lower Hopton.

A consultation day for the project is being held on October 5 at 10am when people can visit the island and find out more about the plans and give their own ideas and inspiration.

People are also being encouraged to share their stories and photos of time spent on the island over the years which could be included within on-site information.