Volunteers promoting a historic Thornhill park are to launch an 18-month scheme to celebrate its wildlife and ecology.
The Friends of Rectory Park won a £47,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its Rectory Park Gone Wild project.
The project will be launched at a fun afternoon in the park in Church Lane on Saturday, September 21, (2pm-4pm). Admission is free.
Activities planned include a bird of prey demonstration, guided nature walks and an exhibition by a local hedgehog sanctuary.
There will also be a photographic competition where visitors are invited to submit pictures of the park for judging on the day.
The event will run alongside the second annual Rectory Park Fun Dog Show, which will be judged this year by Elizabeth Smith, of Kirklees Council’s dog warden service.
Fun classes include waggiest tail, best trick, cutest dog and dog that most looks like its owner.
Tim Duke, chairman of the Friends of Rectory Park, said the fun afternoon would launch 18 months of activities aimed at encouraging the community to make the most of the park.
Events planned included participation in National Dawn Chorus Day, a bugs and beasts hunt and moth-catching.
“The idea is to get the people of Thornhill involved and to show them what a super green space they have on their doorsteps,” said Tim.
The group has also enlisted the support of local schools including Overthorpe Academy, Thornhill Junior and Infants, Headfield Junior School and Thornhill Community Academy.
School groups would be brought to the park for workshops and activity sessions and Tim said: “Kids love it because they can officially get muddy and wet!”
Tim said he wanted to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and Kirklees Council and hoped as many people as possible would attend.
The park, part of the ancient Savile estate, dates back to the 12th century.
Thornhill Hall, home to the Savile family, was built on an island surrounded by a moat. Remains of the hall can still be seen today.
Mature trees and fallen deadwood are home to a weevil and a beetle which have not been recorded anywhere else in Kirklees.
The park is home to four birds that are on the Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
It is also a foraging site for Pipistrelle bats.