Nature area declared ‘outstanding’
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Hirst Wood Regeneration Group have had their work acknowledged as “outstanding” in the RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood category in the latest Britain in Bloom awards. The citation reads: ‘In a very short time the group have transformed a derelict canal site area into a delightful community amenity. The children’s playground, free library and teenager ‘pod’ ensure that all age groups are catered for, including the outdoor classroom, bug huts, bird hide and involvement with Saltaire Primary School. This even covers canal boat trips for the housebound. ‘Links to local council’s, charities and organisations plus extensive publicity and leafleting households, continue to bring support for the group’s work. They have also recently received the Duke of York Initiative Award. ‘Diverse planting has been carried out very successfully and the stone walls and seat enhance the project. The staging to the newly formed wildlife pond is impressive and a duck house has been floated out into the middle for nesting. Many willow screens are being grown which will look fantastic when mature. ‘Teenage offenders have been encouraged to help the project making it inclusive to the whole community.’
HIRST WOOD REGENERATION GROUP
The Royal Horticultural Society’s advice to the group is: ‘Just continue as you are, especially your maturing wildlife pond. Also, your planned display boards of the local history in collaboration with Saltaire Primary School will be a real asset. ‘The information boards for the canal side of Hirst Lock, celebrating the bicentenary and your development of sustainable planting near the quiet area will be wonderful. ‘This is a beautiful area which will be of great benefit to  young and old in the community - a great credit to you all.’