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Green campaigner calls for woodlands to be reopened

A Green Party campaigner has called on the trustees of a local charity to reopen public woodland to allow people to continue their daily exercise.

Heaton Woods Trust have today closed off access to their land following barbecues and other social gatherings despite Government guidelines.

Local Green Party activist, Celia Hickson, a resident who regularly uses the woods for exercise and to improve mental well-being said:

“I have emailed the Trustees to ask them to reconsider their decision. Many local people use this beautiful part of Bradford as part of their Government advised daily exercise.

“The closure will impact huge numbers of Heaton residents who value this resource a lot.

“Unfortunately, those selfish people who are already choosing to avoid social distancing guidelines are also those who are going to ignore the Trust’s decision to close off the woods. This means the only people who are going to suffer are those who are following the rules.

The notice on various access points to the woods states that the Trustees have consulted the Charities Commission and that this action is the most appropriate response to the numerous social gatherings – including barbeques - that have recently taken place in spite of Covid-19 social distancing and gathering advice.

Celia Hickson - Green Party Campaigner

Celia also points out that there has been very little rain since lockdown and that these barbeques present a real risk of fire.

The Heaton Woods Trust is responsible for the care and protection of the woods which spread over 40 acres from Park Drive and Redburn Drive through to the Cat Steps at the bottom of Quarry Street.

If groups are found to be gathering inappropriately then the Police should be informed using the 101 number.