IT’S a cornucopia of wildlife that’s older than Huddersfield itself.
But it’s old age that’s threatening to undo the good work of Friends of Dean Wood (FODW), a group of volunteers who look after Dean Wood, between Netherton and Crosland Moor.
FODW formed in 2000 to maintain the ancient woodland which is home to a huge variety of native trees, plants and animals.
But the group, which has improved footpaths, built ponds and installed bird and bat boxes, is struggling to keep up the good work because many of its members are too old – or have died.
Now FODW is looking for new volunteers to donate a couple of hours a week to look after the woodland which is home to ash, silver birch, oak and hazel trees.
The group is, with the help of Huddersfield Environmental Alliance, applying for Lottery funding to build boardwalks across the wood’s wetlands which are also regarded as an important environmental asset.
Andrew O’Connor, who joined FODW in 2002, said: “It was started by people who used to play in the woods when they were children. Now they’re in their 80s.
“Unfortunately now they’re not able to do the physical work anymore.
“It’s just a really nice wood. It’s small and it’s different. We’re very lucky in this area with our countryside so I wouldn’t like to say it’s the best but it certainly has its features.
“Areas like this are increasingly important for biodiversity. It’s hard to believe Dean Wood was once considered as a site for landfill. Thankfully, that never happened.”
Mr O’Connor added: “It’s a couple of hours’ fresh air on a Saturday morning. We’ve enough tools for people to use and we’ve some money in the bank to carry out projects.
“We’ve a nice group of people and it’s sociable and it works off a few calories in pleasant surroundings.”
For more information about Friends of Dean Wood call Andrew: 07821 701 564.