IMPROVING parks and open spaces in Kirklees is to be the subject of a conference in Huddersfield.

TV presenter and environment consultant Chris Baines will chair the gathering of 100 delegates, mainly from groups and organisations interested in preserving and developing the Kirklees environment.

The conference takes place on Saturday, November 29.

It will be opened by Kirklees Council deputy leader Clr John Smithson and will also see the launch of the district's parks and open spaces strategy.

Anne Abbott, chairwoman of the Kirklees Environment Partnership, said: "The importance of green spaces to our quality of life is being increasingly acknowledged.

"Within Kirklees - from Cleckheaton to Denby Dale and the Pennine valleys to Dewsbury - we have a great variety of open space valued for recreation, play, wildlife, landscape, education, heritage and tourism.

"In many ways, these areas contribute significantly to the local economy and our health and well-being, and we intend to make more of them in future."

The Kirklees Environment Partnership was set up over a year ago and its membership is made up of representatives from voluntary organisations, businesses, community groups and some council services.

Ms Abbott said: "Local communities are playing a bigger part than ever in this work and the conference is an chance for them to contribute in a strategic way to the future of our green spaces."

The conference is free but space is limited and early booking is essential.

Contact Neil Windett, Countryside Manager, Culture and Leisure Services on 01484 234076 or email neil.windett@kirklees. for a booking form.