Our biggest-ever project, the Jo Cox Community Wood was started 2019, in recognition of the work of Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, who was murdered in 2016. Jo had compassion for those members of the community who could be too easily overlooked, or be isolated and lonely. She believed that people have more in common than that which divides them, and she inspired children to explore and achieve. The wood is our contribution to help bring communities together and to celebrate Jo Cox's values. It is supported by Kirklees Council as a legacy for Jo Cox, Spen's "homegrown" MP 2015-2016.
Volunteers cleaned and remediated the site, created new fencing, paths & gates in summer 2019, and planted trees and hedging from November 2019 until February 2020.
The wood is between Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton. It is next to Spen Valley Greenway and Liversedge football club and is connected by a public footpath/bridleway. It is easy to reach on foot and by bike from the Greenway or from Quaker Lane. It is accessible to all, with footpaths suitable for wheelchair users and mobility scooters. It includes seating, picnic tables and information boards about local wildlife, Jo Cox, and the site's history. It was officially opened on 15th March 2020 by Jo's family who are shown below with Civic Society members Max Rathmell, Erica Amende and Colin Berry.
The entrance to the wood at Quaker Lane, an ancient route with causey stones used by jaggers, the men who led trails of packhorses across the district.
The newly-planted wood in early 2020, showing Spen Valley Greenway in the background, and the public bridleway & footpath behind the fence. The picnic tables are at the end of the site nearest the Greenway. The biggest trees have been sponsored by local people to celebrate lives, weddings, anniversaries and voluntary organisations.
We continue to work on the wood and welcome offers of help. Contact us if you'd like to become involved.