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News article created on 2 February 2016

Work starts to transform Knottingley

Knottingley’s canalside will undergo a major transformation over the next six weeks as part of a project to reinvigorate the area for local people

Works will include the installation of a new open air gym, improved woodland pathways, signage and seating.

The popular ‘Freda’s garden’ – named after a celebrated local volunteer - will be replanted with ornamental, native and nectar-rich species to encourage bees and other pollinating insects.  The works will rejuvenate the garden and give local people and schoolchildren the chance to work together as a voluntary group to continue Freda’s work.

The project is being led by the Canal & River Trust, with works being carried out by Groundwork Wakefield. It’s a result of earlier work with Wakefield Council and partners on the Knottingley Development Plan and is funded through a £47,100 grant from WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund. WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

A special place to visit

Jane Thomson, enterprise manager for the Canal & River Trust said; “Knottingley’s canalside is already a popular spot but we believe that it could be so much more. This project will make the canal an even more special place to visit. It will encourage people to keep active by providing an attractive place to walk, run, cycle and, of course, use the new gym equipment. 

“An important element of the works will be breathing new life into Freda’s garden and celebrating the effort she put in over many years to create a really lovely space for local people. We want to rekindle that spirit and see volunteers come forward and help to make a difference for their local community.”

Diana Brown, landscape team leader for Groundwork Wakefield said; “This will breathe new life into Knottingley’s amphitheatre making it more accessible and more welcoming for the community to use. The work is also thanks to the Knottingley and Ferrybridge Neighbourhood Network who have generously provided the third party funding which has unlocked the main funding for the project from WREN.”