Betty Eastwood Park

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Betty Eastwood Park comprises 10.6 hectares of grass and woodland which is managed by the Parish Council.  The Park is used mainly for local walks and has a BMX track for young people and a football area.  In October 2005 some of the Park was designated Access Land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

History

The former medieval enclosures of land now forming Betty Eastwood Park were known as Great Haver Royd, Little Haver Royd and Woollen Well Ing.

The shaft of the first colliery ‘Woollen Well Main Colliery’ was sunk between 1870 and 1973.  Rapid expansion took place and by 1896, 15 coke ovens had been erected.  In 1907 a further 55 new coke ovens were added.  At their height the Crigglestone coke ovens produced 200,000 tons of coke a year and the colliery employed 977 men underground and 357 surface workers.  At the time a by-products works ran in conjunction with the coke ovens producing gas, sulphate of ammonia, tar, pitch, carbolic acid and firelighters.

The coke ovens finally closed in 1959 and were demolished, the flattened site now forming the northern section of the Park.  Crigglestone Colliery closed in 1968, with demolition taking place almost immediately.

Wildlife

The park is a mixture of grassland areas and woodland.  Most of the mature trees in the Park are oak or silver birch.  In the late 1990’s several thousand trees were planted with the assistance of the Forestry Commission.  The Park is home to rabbits, hedgehogs and squirrels.  At dusk you might catch sight of a bat hunting for insects over the open areas.

Access Land

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW 2000) introduced a new right for people on foot to areas mapped as access land.  These are areas across England and Wales of mountain, moor, heath, down and all registered common land.  In England 7% of the country is designated open country or registered common land.

Enjoy the land for activities such as walking, bird watching and picnicking. On access land you can walk freely without having to stick to paths. There is no right to take part in organised games or commercial activities, such as racing or to hunt, fish, or collect anything from the area including rocks and plants.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 only allows access for walkers but does not affect any existing rights of other users. Public rights of way are not affected by the new right of access or by local access restrictions.

Footpath Access Project

In 2013 the Parish Council was awarded a grant of £5,664 from the Big Lottery's Awards for All programme towards the upgrading of the informal network of paths in the Park.  The project provides cleaner, safer and more accessible routes for all park users. Using recycled materials the project was designed to address comments from local people about the state of the paths and the Council hopes it will make a big difference for the local community and that it will encourage more people to use the Park.