Updated 22nd Oct 2017: It has been confirmed that the new draft local plan due in November will confirm Designated Green Space for the Pinewoods. More details in Novemeber.
As part of the Harrogate Council local plan the Pinewoods Conservation Group has applied for the Pinewoods area to be designated as local green space. The designation can be used where the land is not extensive, is local in character and reasonably close to the community; and, where it is demonstrably special, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquility or richness of its wildlife.
This will provide additional protection to developments and planning applications.
Developers Taylor Wimpey were granted outline planning permission for 124 homes adjacent to the Pinewoods. The site is between Otley Road, Crag Lane and the Pinewoods. They are now looking to submit a reserved matters application in September 2016 that will finalise the plans. As the development will be undertaken with no further right of appeal the Pinewoods Conservation Group is looking to work in collaboration with the developers to reduce impact in the woods and its wildlife.
This page will sumarise the issues raised to us by members and proposed actions suggested and agreed with the developers.
The original memorial path was installed in 2004 and was part tarmac and part cinder path. It ran from Harlow Moor Road to Crag Lane. Over time the cinder part became warn with the timber edges rotting and water running from the recreation field eroding the cinder. This made the path unusable to those in wheelchairs and difficult for those with buggies and walking difficulties.
During 2015 it was agreed to resurface the warm part of the path from the recreation ground to Harlow Moor Road. Funding raising was increased to raise the £25k needed to make the improvements. Late 2015 the funding was agreed and after a quote process a supplier, Duffields, appointed and work began mid-November completing early December.
A formal opening is planned for Sat 26th March but don’t wait until then to visit. Some photos of the works can be seen here.
Although there are no dedicated cycle routes within the Pinewoods we know it is a popular short cut and route for cyclists, especially families with small children on bikes. As such The Pinewoods Conservation Group is looking to ensure any planned cycle routes take account of visitors to the Pinewoods and all users cooperate together.
The Pinewoods Conservation Group has a long term plan to remove Himalayan Balsam from the Pinewoods. Himalayan Balsam is a none native plant introduced to Britain by the Victorians in the late 1800s. These plants allow no light onto the ground and as such most of our native wild flowers will cease to exist in these areas. Single plants if left will develop can generate up to 800 new seedlings per yearly.
Eradication of Himalayan Balsam will allow native plants to re colonise and the natural balance of the area will return which in turn will increase insects and wildlife.
The project is to development the field, adjacent to Harlow Moor Road, Pinewoods and the Harrogate Spring Water site, known locally as Irongate. The area was unused and under utilised in a populated area.
The project is to transform the area into an attraction for wildlife and local residents alike. This will include new planting and seating for picnics. It is also expected that other community groups and schools will be able to use the area as an educational space.
The field will see a number of enhancements as listed below. The funding will part fund the items listed.