Big Green Weekend: Skelton Grange

Young people taking part in the the Big Green open day
Plans for the Big Green Weekend Open Day at Skelton Grange on 5th October are really coming together! We are very excited at the prospect of being able to contribute to the Leeds Inspired programme of cultural events across Leeds in 2013 and hope that our plans for celebrating environmental and community arts, crafts and traditions will be enjoyed by other people too.

The origin of the name Leeds comes from the forest of “Loidis” which once covered the region, and the city still remains green and attractive with its parks, nature reserves, woodlands and local green spaces. The Conservation Volunteers is a charity with a strong tradition of working with the Leeds community to care for and maintain access to these green spaces, with bases at Hollybush in Kirkstall, and Skelton Grange in the south of the city. We believe that access to good quality green space strengthens communities, helping people feel healthier and happier, and in the last year worked with over 23,500 people in Leeds improving and enjoying their natural environment.

So, on Saturday 5th October, the much loved Skelton Grange Environment Centre and wildlife area is flinging open its gates to visitors. Usually reserved for schools, play-schemes and community groups or those wishing to book onto one of its many courses, the Skelton Grange Open Day offers all children and their families from across Leeds a great opportunity to get close to nature through a huge range of activities – so get along and find out more about this hidden gem in the heart of South Leeds.

As a tribute to Leeds’ forested and woollen history, in the woodland area you will be able to learn a variety of bushcraft and traditional green woodworking skills, see how charcoal is made, create a willow heart or try your hand at felt making. We will also have Leeds Beekeepers Association (with bees!) and the opportunity to meet some real Leeds Owls and observe a spot of ferret racing!

And to get involved with local food you can generate your own bicycle powered smoothie, treat yourself to a freshly baked pizza from our traditional cob oven – or put your feet up in the café and enjoy some home-made sweet and savoury snacks with a cuppa or a pint of locally brewed Ridgeside beer. To keep the whole family entertained there will also be face-painting, storytelling, circus skills and music – all from local artists.

Skelton Grange Environment Centre in Leeds was opened 21 years ago, and is managed by the charity The Conservation Volunteers. We believe passionately that looking after green places isn’t just about caring for nature; it’s about caring for people as well. Get along and find out how you can be involved, as a volunteer, a supporter or a visitor, and we promise you a great day out.

The day will run from 11am til 4pm. Full details including directions can be found on the website http://www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange or by visiting http://www.leedsinspired.co.uk

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