Queen’s Diamond Jubilee wood hopes for Dewsbury country park plan

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DEWSBURY could soon boast the largest new woodland in West Yorkshire.

And if funding bids succeed, the project would feature an area to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

A 50-hectare country park is being considered on land which for years has been used for tipping.

Kirklees Council sees this as a reward for people who have lived close to a landfill site for so long.

The council’s countryside manager Neil Windett said: “The people of Dewsbury Moor and neighbouring places deserve a quality environment as much as anyone else – leafy parts of Huddersfield, Thornhill and such.

“They should get something back in return for living so close to a tip for all those years.”

Inclusion of a Diamond Wood to celebrate the Jubilee would be a ‘fantastic element’, said Mr Windett.

“This would be something Dewsbury could really be proud of and the largest new woodland in West Yorkshire,” he added.

The idea is still in development stages and depends on Forestry Commission funding.

“We can’t use council cash on new woodland,” said Mr Windett.

The country park scheme was in a 1990s unitary development plan, a commitment a waste management firm had to make for when they finished tipping rubbish.

Then 18 months ago, the council talked to the Woodland Trust, which wanted to create large new woodland for the Jubilee and saw the site as a suitable location.

The country park idea has not been activated until now for safety reasons. Getting rid of landfill gas too early would have posed risks.

“We are now bringing the proposal forward and aim to create an alternative environment for people to enjoy,” said Mr Windett.

The proposed site runs along the bottom of Dewsbury Moor from Scout Hill, skirting Ravensthorpe and up to the Heckmondwike border.

The council hopes to know about funding bids by early summer.

Follow us on Twitter @DewsReporter and @ MirfReporter. Email me at sheila.weber@ywng.co.uk