Wyke Beck Valley

Wyke Beck Valley

Improving the habitats of five local nature reserves

The Wyke Beck Valley, in east Leeds, is part of a joint partnership between Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. 

From its origin at Waterloo Lake, in Roundhay Park, Wyke Beck runs through the Gipton, Seacroft, Killingbeck and Halton boroughs of east Leeds, emerging into the River Aire opposite Rothwell Country Park.

Working in partnership Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust aim to improve the habitats of the five local nature reserves (LNRs) that make up Wyke Beck Valley:

  • Wykebeck Woods and Asket Hill
  • Arthur’s Rein
  • Killingbeck Fields
  • Primrose Valley
  • Halton Moor

These habitats are predominantly grasslands interspersed with woodland and scrub.

Our vision is to provide a valuable habitat corridor in this urban setting. We want the freshwater of the beck to provide a home for the white clawed crayfish (the UK’s only native species of crayfish).

Key aims

Throughout the five nature reserves we will be working with local communities, volunteers and our partners. We want to:

  • help rejuvenate and regenerate habitats for wildlife
  • increase the biodiversity of the valley
  • provide peaceful green spaces for everyone to enjoy

We hope local communities will become involved in helping to look after these sites, securing them for future generations.

By encouraging local groups to carry out surveying and monitoring of key species, we want to be able to record improvements to biodiversity and wildlife throughout the valley.

What we are doing

  1. Creating pollinator habitats by planting native wildflower mixes into grasslands and woodlands - not only increasing the diversity of the flora in the valley but also providing a great source of pollen for bees and other insects.
  2. Planting and creating wildlife friendly hedgerows, carrying out tree planting and creating ponds and scrapes to benefit aquatic wildlife.
  3. Undertaking practical conservation work such as seasonal coppicing and pollarding to ensure the five nature reserves stay in a good condition for both wildlife and people.
  4. Ensuring the five nature reserves are inviting spaces and easily accessible for everyone.

By working in partnership with local “Friends of groups”, the volunteers and rangers from our partners at Leeds City Council, we will continue to keep this important wildlife corridor vibrant and teeming with wildlife for the benefit of all.

How you can help

If you would like to get involved with the Wyke Beck Valley partnership please get in touch with the Project Officer (Gary Smith) at gary.smith@ywt.org.uk

Whether you would like to get involved in practical conservation (no previous experience or skills necessary) or feel that you have skills and knowledge that would make a good contribution get in touch! We’d love to hear from you!