Strategic Context - Stakeholders, Strategies, Policies and Plans

(Influences and constraints acting of the Country Park)

This section deals with the various influences, constraints and directives impacting on the management plan and the activities of  Leeds City Council, at both a national and local level.


The range of the West Leeds Country Park is extensive, and consequently the number and variety of organisations, groups and individuals who have a vested interest in the project area is considerable too.

This includes Leeds City Council Ward Members and Officers of various departments; national and local organisations, agencies and authorities, such as British Waterways, Bradford City Council, Natural England, Environment Agency and West Police; landowners and land managers, such as Thornhill Yorkshire Estates Company, Rodley Nature Reserve and the various utility companies, and specific user groups, such as walkers, cyclists, local historians, naturalists, anglers, allotment holders and runners etc.

One of the most significant groups is formed by the people who live in or near the Country Park and use it regularly for quiet recreation on a regular basis.

Consultation with community associations, resident’s associations and friends of groups etc. will help to involve local people in the planning, care and enhancement of the Country Park and the particular places within it that people value, as well as to help reach  a consensus with them in making decisions about what happens in these areas.

National Strategies, Policies, and Plans impacting on the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways 

There are numerous national and local strategies, policies and plans which impact on the Country Park area, encompassing a variety of relevant themes, in particular the environment, local communities, recreation, education, culture, safety, transport and health.

The most significant aims and priorities contained within these documents have been assembled into a raft of strategies, portfolios and plans, collated by The Leeds Initiative, the city’s strategic partnership to dovetail into a long term plan, Vision For Leeds 2004 to 2020, the Leeds Community Strategy, which sets out the following three aims:

Going up a league as a city making Leeds an internationally competitive city - the best place in the country to live, work and learn, with a high quality of life for everyone.

Narrowing the gap between the most disadvantaged people and communities and the rest of the city.

Developing Leeds’ role as the regional capital - contributing to the national economy as a competitive European city, supporting and supported by a region that is becoming increasingly prosperous.

Objectives contained within the Vision for Leeds are focused around 8 themes.

Leeds Quality Parks Standard

Drawing on the Green Flag scheme, Parks and Countryside has developed the Leeds Quality Parks Standard, a tool which enables Community Parks across the Leeds District to be audited and assessed by Green Flag trained judges, in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses they display.

These assessments outline where improvements can be made in terms of managing and promoting parks and green spaces for the benefit of visitors.

Within the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways area there are a number of Community Parks, which are defined under the Parks and Green Space Strategy  as those which serve the surrounding local community. These are:  –

Key pieces of national legislation impacting on the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways

Key Leeds based Strategies, Portfolios, Plans and Visions impacting on the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways

The Parks and Greenspace Strategy

This Strategy links with the local Cultural Strategy, and is Parks and Countryside’s key document. It sets out the main priorities in order to achieve a vision where good quality and accessible parks and green spaces are at the heart of the community and are able to meet the needs of everyone who lives, works, visits or invests in Leeds, both now and for the future. 

The Green Flag Award Scheme

During the development of the Parks and Green Space Strategy the importance of assessing quality was identified. The Green Flag Award Scheme represents the national standard for assessing parks and green spaces across England and Wales, and in 2004 a programme to assess 146 sites on a rolling 3 year programme was initiated.  This involved a commitment to train over 50 judges from within the Parks and Countryside Service to conduct judging for the award scheme at other Local Authority sites and to use this knowledge and experience to conduct assessments in Leeds based on the criteria below:  –



A welcoming place

how to create a sense that people are positively welcomed in the park

Healthy, safe & secure

how best to ensure that the park is a safe & healthy environment for all users

Clean & well maintained

what people can expect in terms of cleanliness, facilities & maintenance


how a park can be managed in environmentally sensitive ways

Conservation & heritage

the value of conservation & care of historical heritage

Community involvement

ways of encouraging community participation  and acknowledging the community's role in a park's success


methods of promoting a park successfully


how to reflect  all of the above in a coherent & accessible management plan or strategy and ensure it is implemented

West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways


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