Major works to restore and improve a wooded area in Luton’s Leagrave Park got underway this week thanks to funding secured by local community charity Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire.
Groundwork has secured a £25k grant from Biffa Award, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund, to undertake major tree works, improve access and information and to offer a series of community volunteering days/activities in the woodland surrounding the source of the River Lea in the park.
Work has already commenced on site with major tree works and clearance opening up the area closest to the Five Springs tower block. As autumn turns into winter, volunteers will be able to join conservation volunteer days, with tasks being run by TCV Bedford and Groundwork. The first volunteer day took place at the end of October and there are details on how to get involved with others below.
The improvements were identified following previous management planning undertaken by Groundwork on behalf of Luton Borough Council, and will complement the improvement and access works taking place in the adjacent Rotten Spinney area which are also being led by the charity.
Tillie Sutterby, Groundwork’s Operations Manager said “We are delighted to have secured the Biffa Award funding to help deliver the Council’s long held aspirations to make this important part of the River corridor more accessible. This project links into the work of the Luton Lea Catchment Partnership in promoting the significance of the river through the town, and it is envisaged that this new footpath along with that running through Rotten Spinney, will allow people to enjoy the tranquillity of the wood and water in an urban area.”
Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said: “This project is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can help engage local people in protecting their local environment for the benefit of plants, animals and visitors. For more than 16 years nature reserves and habitats across the UK have benefited from the scheme and the organisations that award grants through the fund look forward to supporting more in the future.”
Once all works are completed, visitors to the park will be able to access the woodland via a new natural pathway and to learn about the park’s historical importance through two new information panels near the source of the river.