A great day out at Skelton Grange’s Open Day, Saturday, 3 October 2015!

The stalls are packed away, the bunting rolled up and normality has returned to Skelton Grange after the annual Big Green Weekend open day.

Tucked away in a South Leeds industrial estate lies Skelton Grange Environment Centre, a welcome green space operating environmental education for school groups and a place for people to volunteer and do conservation work. This year marked Skelton Grange’s 11th open day, with almost 600 people from Leeds and the surrounding area coming to enjoy the site. Things to do throughout the day included traditional crafts, fascinating demonstrations and a café with delicious homemade cake.

Visitors were greeted with the sight of children and grownups attempting juggling, stilt-walking, plate spinning and more with the Leeds Children’s circus group, watched by the queen bee and her subjects brought along by Keith Dobson from the Leeds Beekeeper’s Association. If you had any more beekeeping questions then Lynne and David, who maintain the hives at Skelton Grange, were inside and happy to explain what they do. Those arriving by bike were in luck, as the Leeds Bike Doctor was there giving free safety checks and carrying out minor repairs. For those feeling arty, there were woodland craft activities and demonstrations including spoon carving with Dan Lawrence, whittling, willow weaving, and spinning wool.

When your stomach started rumbling there was cake and drinks in the café, and outside, Skelton’s famous ‘Dragon Oven’ was lit and firing out pitta pizzas. All this could be enjoyed with a glass of locally brewed beer from Ridgeside Brewery in Meanwood. If you were feeling adventurous you could then head over the road and try some treats cooked on a campfire by Chris Ensor, Skelton’s resident bushcraft champion.

It was a fantastic day all round and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the environment centre, even if it did mean the café temporarily ran out of cake!

If you missed out on this event there are still plenty of ways to get involved at Skelton either by attending a training course, joining in as a volunteer, or, if you’re feeling brave, book onto the upcoming zombie experience (not for the faint hearted). Check out the website http://www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange for more details and information.
Skelton Grange’s activities are supported by the Big Lottery Fund and National Grid through the access2nature project, which aims to improve the wellbeing of people in Leeds by providing positive opportunities in the natural environment. This year’s open day was helped by funding from 2 of Leeds Council’s Well Being Fund Grants, awarded by local ward members through the Inner and Outer South Community Committees.

Come and join one of our volunteering days every Friday or have fun and learn something new with our exciting creative workshops such as wild food foraging, cheese making, outdoor learning for teachers or lino printing and other arts activities. We also have a range of bushcraft sessions and a holiday playscheme for kids and our halloween zombie adventure threatens a scary return!

Please see our website for details: http://www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange

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