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NEWS ROUNDUP: Anti-litter campaign and golf courses set to reopen



Ahead of restrictions regarding social distancing and gatherings potentially easing over the next few months, Leeds City Council is once again asking residents to please take their litter home or dispose of it in an appropriate way if visiting a city park or green space.

With parks and green spaces continuing to be open throughout all of the restrictions put in place to tackle coronavirus since March 2020, visitor numbers have increased significantly. This has led to a growth in the amount of litter being left, and with up to six people from two households being allowed to meet outdoors from next Monday (March 29), and also the summer months fast approaching, there is the potential that visitor numbers may increase even further.

With this in mind, over the coming weeks, signage and banners will be installed at a number of the city’s 63 community parks as part of a campaign reminding visitors why it is so important to keep green spaces tidy and not to leave litter. A similar initiative undertaken by the council in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy was very well received last summer, and the council is hoping for similar success this year. The campaign will promote the message that whilst enjoying the parks on offer, visitors should always respect the green spaces and try to take their litter home. If this is not possible, they should at all times ensure that their litter is put in a bin or disposed of in another suitable manner.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and active lifestyles, said:

“During the extremely testing times we have experienced over the past year due to coronavirus, our fantastic parks and green spaces have proved to be somewhere where people have been able to relax, exercise and experience a little bit of normality.

“With visitor numbers generally up at all of our parks and green spaces over this period, we have also seen unfortunately a general rise in the amount of litter. With a potential easing of restrictions proposed in the upcoming months and with summer also not too far away, we want to ensure that there is no increase in littering and that our greenspaces are left tidy.

“Parks and green spaces are for everyone to enjoy and litter not only makes them look unsightly, it can also be potentially dangerous to animals and wildlife. We are therefore asking people to please ensure that any litter they have is taken home or disposed of properly and appropriately. We will be supporting this important message with banners and signage that we hope will have a similar impact to a campaign undertaken last year in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy.”

In line with the lifting of national lockdown restrictions next Monday (29 March), the council-owned golf courses at Temple Newsam and Roundhay Park are set to officially reopen.

Working with England Golf and government coronavirus guidelines, a number of measures will be in place to ensure golfers can enjoy their games safely. These include social distancing, providing hand sanitising stations for visitors and track and trace measures when booking and on-site.

Next Monday will also mark the first time players at Temple Newsam will be able to enjoy the course's reconfigured layout, providing picturesque views and a fun challenge across two nine-hole courses known as Lady Dorothy and Lord Irwin. These can also be played as a traditional 18-hole course.

The launch of this refreshed golf offering at Temple Newsam marks the first in a series of family-friendly facilities opening at the estate.

Approved at Executive Board last September, this £1.2m project will see a number of new facilities created at, and improvements made to, the site. The developments, which were informed by a large-scale public consultation, include:

  • 'Learn to Ride' cycling facility for children.
  • Several kilometres of walking and cycling trails.
  • A new café, providing an attractive setting overlooking the park.
  • A brand new children's play area.
  • A range of landscaping improvements, which will enable visitors to explore little-known areas of the historic estate. A popular suggestion with consultees, this work will also help support the council's commitment to tackling the climate emergency through proposed tree planting and habitat creation.
  • Potentially a new outdoor events space.

Construction on these developments is set to start at the end of the year, with the facilities expected to open in 2022. Be sure to keep an eye on the Leeds City Council and Temple Newsam social media channels for regular updates in the months ahead.

Whether you're looking to enjoy the nine-hole Lady Dorothy and Lord Irwin courses as a full 18 holes, or to visit the classic nine-hole course at Roundhay Park, pay and play golf is back alongside the reopening, providing an affordable way for residents to try the sport out.

Additionally, for those looking to play throughout the year, season tickets will go on sale on 1 April, giving you access to both courses until March 2022.

For further details, including pricing and the course phone numbers you'll need to book a tee time (with 48 hours' notice for existing members and 24 hours' notice for pay and play visitors), please visit the Active Leeds website here.

A great grandmother who spent her 99th birthday feeling like a ‘prisoner’ at a care home was left in tears of joy after celebrating her centenary at home with her family.

Frances Heaton said she was overjoyed to be able to hug her family members on her big day this week after her last birthday plans were thwarted by the first lockdown.

The 100-year-old said the lockdown in March 2020 happened two weeks before a planned party for her 99th birthday.

Family members had to stay six feet away from her during a tearful outdoor visit to the care home, where Frances said she felt like ‘a prisoner’.

But Frances was sparkling with joy this week as she enjoyed some fizzy drinks with Linda on a bench at their home in Kippax, West Yorks.

Her daughter Linda Barley, 72, said Frances became emotional as she was able to enjoy the great outdoors for the first time after driving home on Monday.

Frances saw daffodils in bloom on the drive, which was the first time she’s seen flowers bloom in spring since the lockdown began.

She said she cried when she got to the house as she was ‘so relieved’ to be home. (By Joe Pagnelli | SWNS)

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