In a world that has turned upside down, we hope you are keeping safe, and in so doing helping to save lives. On daily walks it certainly seems that most people take care to ‘socially distance’, and, whilst avoiding each other like the plague, exchange a cheery ‘hi’ instead. There are compensations after all. A tweet yesterday (29th March) from LCC’s Tom Riordan said that footfall in Leeds is down 90%, which is hopefully good news for ‘flattening the curve’ so that the NHS can cope better. Both Leeds and Bradford have also now closed car parks at local tourist spots and parks. That includes Danefield, Chevin, Yeadon Tarn, Micklefield and Nunroyd.
We have been using our Facebook Page for key news and ideas, with the aim of being ‘uplifting’. Local innovation certainly seems to be the order of the day, from St Oswald’s in Guiseley who are now doing online services to the many local food outlets who are gearing up for delivery service. Hopefully, the panic of ‘stockpiling’, and mass exodus to beauty spots is now over, and a new way of ‘coping’ is emerging.
We have heard nothing as yet about the Green Belt High Court case. But, will let you know when we do. In the meantime, the Wills Gill planning application comments are due in on 2nd April. The best, and safest, way to comment is via the Planning Portal here . See our previous posts for key points.
Community Placemaking Initiatives
The spring weather and change in clocks makes the world look a little better, as indeed does placemaking. To cheer everyone up, there has been a project involving many local children putting up rainbows of hope in their windows, and even in their gardens. You will spot them on your daily exercise. If you cannot go out, you will find many other examples at the Facebook Page The Great Guiseley Art Project.
With Easter now approaching, the Chevin cross has unfortunately been cancelled, but the one at Guiseley Town Gate has been put up (with appropriate social distancing), whilst the flower beds are being tended at Guiseley Cemetery. As previously mentioned, St Oswald’s is now doing live services from the Rectory via their Facebook page, and St John’s Yeadon and St Peter’s Rawdon amongst others are following suit.
With local walks now being crucial for exercise, Darren Sanderson Photography and ourselves have set up a Facebook Page (Aireborough Photos and Videos) to help discover the joys of walking in Aireborough. And again, for those who are having to isolate, there are Darren’s excellent landscape pictures to look at, as well as those from other contributors. There is also our Guiseley Gap Walk leaflet, which can be done in stages, and Parkinson’s Park have one for an historic saunter.
The Arthur Gemmell maps are the best for finding the local footpaths (not sure if they are still in production), or you can use the Leeds digital Public Right of Way map here.
Care is needed when touching styles, gates, seats etc, and the Friends of Parkinson’s park have made it easier to get into the Park safely by fixing the gate open. This Park, along with others like Engine Fields, which have been looked after and enhanced by local Friends groups, are now proving the worth of large local areas of green space. Not only are they a source for wellbeing, but also places where the ecology has been enhanced, and you can listen to birdsong as you walk. There is also a growing number of community orchards, which could prove handy, whilst Incredible Edible Airborough are keeping up their community food provision around the area. It is a shame that we are so short of allotments – to improve this situation must be a priority !!
Many of the Friends Groups belong to Leeds Parks Forum, which helps groups with ideas, support and ideas for ways to fund projects. Love Leeds Parks is an initiative of theirs that fundraises to provide the groups with grants for site-specific project in 2020
Keeping the local economy going is vital, and with cafe’s and restaurant’s closing for eat-in trade and supermarkets operating a queuing and priority hour, shopping habits are changing. A number of small businesses are now doing phone or online order and delivery – from butchers, to bakers, hardware to garden plants and supplies. Facebook is again a good source of information on who is doing what – and often they will take orders via Facebook messenger.
Many of these have changed – buses are fewer, brown bins are not being collected (good time to start a compost heap if you have room), tips are closed. Leeds have published a list of contact numbers that could be useful.
Whatever else happens, it is an ill wind that blows no good at all, and hopefully what will emerge out of the tunnel are stronger communities. With that in mind it was moving to many people to hear the clapping for the NHS at 8pm last week – those living on the hillsides especially could hear the noise rising. And, there are more and more people saying thank you to the many people from essential services who are keeping things going. So wave to the postman, the water board employee, the telephone engineer, and the bin collector – whilst we are socially distancing we can reconnect. Life is just too short not to.
Stay safe; Save lives