A TRANSFORMATION is taking place on a hillside at Kilner Bank, Dalton.
Volunteers with the Kilner Bank Improvement Group are changing the neglected hillside into an attractive area of open space for people and wildlife. Work started in 2001, and since then wildlife habitat and footpath surveys have been carried out, seats and benches put in place, footpaths improved and grant funding applied for.
The group chairman, Michael Butterworth, said the group had worked with Kirklees Environment Unit to successfully bid this year for a £14,350 grant from the Forestry Commission to improve public access.
"This money will be spent during 2005 and 2006 on further path improvements - signs, seats and picnic areas - to increase people's enjoyment of the woodland, open areas, wildlife and views," he said.
A further £4,000 grant, from Voluntary Action Kirklees, will provide more footpath improvements and some tree and shrub planting to enhance woodland areas.
Projects already successfully completed last year include creating steps and improving the footpaths at the bottom of the hillside next to the UCI cinema at Bradley Mills and improving the footpaths and access to the link between Dalton Fold to the Galpharm Stadium and the Leeds Road retail park.
Landfill tax credit cash has also helped with tree felling and thinning out woodland. Bird boxes have been put up to encourage more birds to nest there.
"This neglected hillside is being transformed to highlight its attractive nature and make it more accessible for the public to enjoy," Mr Butterworth added. "It is popular with local residents for walking, birdwatching and enjoying the spectacular views."