EXPERTS have been unearthing the secret history of much-loved Huddersfield woods.

Findings about woodland between Bradley, Fixby and Deighton will be unveiled at a public meeting on Saturday.

Archeologists from the North Yorkshire-based Blaise Vyner consultancy were called in by local volunteer group Woodscape.

And they uncovered evidence of goings-on in Bradley Gate Wood, Dyson Wood, Screamer Wood and Upper and Lower Fell Greave woods.

Experts found abandoned coalmining bell pits, quarry holes - possibly for ironstone - and the boundary fence of a sanitorium in the woods which dated to the 1600s.

Another big find were tenter posts from the 1800s. They were used in drying cloth.

Woodscape founder member and treasurer Betty Turner said: "We were awarded £25,000 by the Countryside Agency and we're using it to help people understand the woods better."

She said the group was also designing a woodland management plan.

Woodscape are getting help from Kirklees Council forestry officer Ramsay Bloom and Guy Thompson, of the White Rose Forest scheme, to plant trees and protect and improve West Yorkshire woodland.

Anyone who wants to go to Saturday's meeting should phone Ms Turner on 01484 532594. It starts at 10am at the tenants' and residents' association meeting place, 25 Alandale Road, Bradley.

It will include a slide show, discussion and walk.

THERE'S a lot of work ahead to improve the woodland.

Putting a new management plan together will take until the end of this year, at least.

One job will be to thin out young oak trees, planted in the 70s and 80s after fire wiped out part of Bradley Gate Wood in 1976.

Woodscape members also want to add gates and bollards, to stop off-road motorbikers.

Residents will get the opportunity to fill in questionnaires next month, asking what improvements they'd like to see.