News article created on 2 March 2020

Statement about Skinner's Yard

The Trust has coordinated the project at Skinner’s Yard on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, with support from Clean Leeds Leeds City Council and West Leeds Youth Service, which is due to be completed by the end of this summer. It’s great to see the passion people have for protecting our wildlife and green spaces. However, there are some misunderstandings about the project site that we want to address.

The site is currently creating a setting for anti-social behaviour and our intention is to change things around so that, working with @LeedsCityCouncil @CleanLeeds youth groups and local artists, we will create a safer wildlife haven and creative space next to Leeds & Liverpool Canal for all to enjoy.  

We planned the site clearance early enough in the year to avoid disturbing nesting birds. Although we don’t like losing scrub cover like this, it is necessary to provide access to make safety improvements to the arches behind and is only a temporary measure. 

We will be allowing the buddleia to grow back and planting a wildflower meadow to encourage the return of pollinators and wildlife at the site. In the long-term, this will provide a habitat where wildlife can thrive, yet discourage some of the anti-social behaviour including drug use that the current site layout attracts. 

Local artists will be working with young people from West Leeds to create murals for the archways that will be attached to the railings as part of our art trail along the canal. Importantly, these murals will prevent access to the archways which have a dangerous drop into the River Aire and will greatly improve public safety at the site.