Between 2004 and 2006 Wakefield Rotary Club undertook a Centenary Project that included restoring one of Charles Waterton’s stone watchtowers (bird-hides) and establishing a Friends of Haw Park Wood group.
Cynthia Dickinson, who had taken part in voluntary activities at Haw Park Wood and Anglers Country Park each Earth Day since 1997, was recommended as a local community contact. One of the tasks she’d undertaken in April 2004 was the clearing of rubble from around the dilapidated stone bird-hide structure. Another, in September that year, was helping to spread tons of gravel around the hide and along the access path.
She was invited to attend the Rotary Club’s sub-group meetings from late 2005 and over the next year or so liaised with Ranger Dave Mee and Crofton High School to draft a child-friendly information leaflet about Charles Waterton, the First Green Hero. Ranger Sue Worrell took on responsibility for producing the finished leaflet.
In June 2006 a meeting was organised by the Rotary Club at the Waterton Park Hotel. Following a presentation on the restoration of the watchtower there was a discussion about establishing the Friends of Haw Park Wood. Five local people, including Cynthia, volunteered to serve on a temporary committee and agree its constitution.
In August a permanent committee was formed; Chair Phyllis Baines, Secretary John Bolton, Treasurer Roger Wainright, Publicity Officer Cynthia Dickinson and members Val Stringer and Ricky Donner.
The Friends of Haw Park Wood & Wintersett aim to preserve, enhance and promote Haw Park Wood as a natural woodland and Anglers Park for the benefit of local people and wildlife.
There are many ways this can be achieved, the most simple is by becoming a member. As a member you could volunteer for working parties, spread the word by distributing leaflets or giving talks, help with fund-raising activities, supply ideas, or just come coming along to meetings to have your say.
However you choose to participate, you will be welcome. Membership is open to all and you can be an active or passive supporter of this local amenity. Complete the contact form, if you have any suggestions/questions or if you would like to join us.
Green Flag Award:
We are extremely proud that all the many hours contributed by our loyal Friends volunteers have helped towards our fabulous nature reserve achieving the prestigious Green Flag status.
The aim of the Green Flag Award scheme is to encourage good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways. Both Haw Park Wood and Anglers Country Park are award winners and we should all acknowledge the hard work and skills of the Wakefield Council Countryside team in achieving this.
Awards are given annualy and winners must re-apply each year to renew their Green Flag status, sites are judged by experienced volunteer judges and any park that wins the award will be:
- A welcoming place
- Healthy, safe and secure
- Well maintained and clean
The parks also have to meet award standards on:
- Conservation and heritage
- Community involvement
Starting in January and running through to December each year, we have practical work days for volunteers on the 3rd. Wednesday in the month, when we help the Park Rangers for 2-3 hours with essential work in the park. If you fancy helping or just care about Haw Park Wood and the adjoining Anglers Country Park, then why not join us and give it a try. Check out the “Get Involved” menu for more details.
The Green Flag Award scheme was launched in 1996 and is managed by Keep Britain Tidy for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. We first won the award in circa. 2008.
We liaise with the council Countryside department through an elected committee of members, who are:
Phyllis Baines – honary life president
Ricky Donner – chair & events officer
Bev Clark – secretary
Sarah Slater – advisor
Ashleigh Overall – treasurer
Pete Smith – advisor
t.b.a. – communications officer