Article - The River Blog

Our Holme

Author: Jeanette Dyson
Categories: Projects

Our Holme in Spa Wood and Snow Island

Did you know that you can walk from Aspley, near Huddersfield town centre, alongside the river, meandering through wildlife rich woodlands and wetlands? Many local people don’t even know this walk exists but working together with the local community we want to turn this into a safe outdoor green space that can be used for leisure, education and conservation. One entrance to this hidden footpath can be found at the foot of Lockwood Scar, opposite the Scar Café.

We want to encourage families and individuals to use the area as a destination for relaxation, recreation and learning. A great deal of work has already been done to improve the area and by working together, we can create a welcoming environment that people can also use as a green thoroughfare.

We’re calling this project ‘Our Holme’ as this is how we want the community to see the river. It’s Our Holme to care for, improve and enjoy, How can we do this together?

If you live nearby, we want to hear from you!

There are many local community groups already working to improve Spa Wood and Snow Island. Together, we want to do even more. We want to find out what you, the local people think, If you live in or near Spa Wood or Snow Island, or use the path already, tell us what you’d like to see at Spa Wood and how you’d like to use and visit the area.

Get involved and get the INNS out

There are many volunteers who are doing an amazing job of clearing and cleaning Spa Wood. The Our Holme project has received funding that means we can help to support these groups by buying more tools, training more people and encouraging people to volunteer and help improve their local area.

The river and woodland in Spa Wood and Snow Island offer a rich habitat for wildlife. But this is under threat from non-native plants, such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam. By removing the invasive species and replanting with native shrubs and flowers, the area will become a haven for wildlife.

INNS Out is part of the Our Holme project, we want to help and encourage volunteers to grow native plants to recolonise the river banks and woodlands.

Discovering the Holme

The river and woodland are a living classroom, where children can learn about science, nature, art and design, and more. We want to work with schools to bring the river to life, creating river education packs and making it easy for schools to take children on field trips. There’s also the opportunity to take the river into the classroom through talks and visits.

FAQs

Is River Holme Connections taking over Spa Wood and Snow Island?

No. In fact quite the opposite. Our aim is to provide extra hands, funding, skills and knowledge to help those community groups who are already working hard to improve the natural environment for wildlife and people. That’s why one of our first steps is to talk to local community groups and residents, find out what they’re already doing, what they’d like to do and how we can help them do it!

Why are you doing this?

Rivers are an important part of our ecosystem. If we don’t look after our natural environment, we’ll lose the bees we rely on to pollinate crops, fish we need for food and invertebrates that break down waste. By creating an environment where wildlife can thrive and people can enjoy the river and young people can learn about importance of safeguarding the river for the future.

Who will pay for all this work?

We’ve secured significant funding from several sources including Cummins Foundation and Cobbett Environmental, which will cover all the projects mentioned. However, we’d also encourage any fundraising from the local community to help long term upkeep.

When will the work start?

The consultation and preparation starts now. Any practical work will start in spring, invasive species removal depends on the growing season.

What changes will we see?

The aim is to create a cleaner, clearer environment that’s rich in wildlife. We want to see more people using the paths and the woods for picnics, fishing, photography and more.

Can I join in?

Please do! We welcome all groups and volunteers, whether it’s for litter picking, photography, educational talks and walks or spreading the message by writing blogs, delivering leaflets or telling us what you think. Get in touch with our team.

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