The West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways initiative   

The West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways initiative takes a holistic approach in considering the character and significance of parks, countryside and greenspaces in the West Leeds Country Park, with a view to conserving and enhancing these areas whilst also maintaining and expanding the level of public accessibility, or the Green Gateways, which run across the Country Park and link in with adjacent urban areas.

The Country Park element of the scheme looks largely at the land in the west of Leeds which falls into the Greenbelt Boundary, and in particular the sites managed by Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside for nature conservation and recreation.

It is also concerned with protecting the landscapes and the character of the project area.

The Green Gateways are the Public Rights of Way (PRoW) and other legitimate routes regularly used for pedestrian, equestrian and cycle access by the public. It includes the circular Green Gateways Trail which travels all the way around the Country Park, as well as other established named routes such as the Leeds Country Way, Calverley Millennium Way and The Pudsey Link.

It is expected that other Community Green Gateways will be added and promoted over time.

The aim and structure of this Management Plan 

This Management Plan is intended to promote the interest, support and involvement of local people and  the Stakeholders involved with the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways project, as well as ensuring that there is a structured  continuity in the future management of the initiative and the provision of a framework for ongoing consultation and decision making.

The Context sections of the plan examine the elements of the Country Park which make it special and lend it character in terms of landscape, recreation, ecology, geology and history, and investigates the influences and constraints which act on the initiative and ultimately this management plan.

Five management compartments have been set out within the Country Park boundary, and these identify the key sites owned and/or managed by Parks and Countryside within each, looks at their present condition and status whilst identifying existing and potential threats.

The plan also explores the Public Rights of Way network, and other non-designated routes, which contribute  to the Green Gateways concept.

A set of Key Aims and related Objectives pick up the concept of the Long Term Vision and identify and set out the means of achieving this.

Finally, Action Plans pick up the Key Objectives and the Themes which have been formulated following consultation with Stakeholders, and provide an outline of how these areas will be conserved and enhanced in terms of the wildlife habitats they support and the recreational and cultural opportunities they provide.

The following sites are managed by Parks and Countryside for public recreation and  nature conservation 


Definitions of land types   

Within this plan the various land holdings managed by Parks and Countryside have been categorised into types, and the following definitions, taken from the Parks and Greenspace Strategy, are intended to explain these.

Country parks - Areas located in areas of countryside outside of the main Leeds conurbation, which make provision for the city as a whole as well as a wider catchment area spreading beyond the Leeds district.

City Parks - Areas within or on the edge of the main Leeds conurbation, which make provision for the city as a whole as well as a wider catchment area spreading beyond the Leeds district.

Community parks - Parks which are intended to make recreational and amenity provision for local communities as a whole, and include facilities such as formal equipped playgrounds, playing pitches, courts and bowling greens.

Recreation grounds - Areas which offer local informal recreational facilities for adults and older children.

Local greenspace - Areas which offer recreational and amenity provision for the immediate community, including informal amenity space within or adjacent to housing.

Semi – natural greenspace - Includes areas in both urban and countryside settings which function and are managed as wildlife habitats, including  woodland, heathland, grassland, wetland, wasteland, scrub and bare rock.

Green corridors - Linear zones, such as river, stream and canal banks; road and rail routes; cycleways and pathways; public rights of way.

These woods are leased by Leeds City Council from Thornhill Estates for woodland management and public open recreation




West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways


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West Leeds Country Park Management Plan Contents