The Meanwood Valley







The Dales Way, starts on Woodhouse Moor and runs along the Meanwood Valley, north from Leeds city centre between Woodhouse Ridge and Sugarwell Hill, and is a virtually an uninterrupted green corridor for some seven miles, stretching from the city centre to open countryside on the outskirts of the city.


On Sugarwell Hill, where grew the Seven Sister's trees, is the source of the old rag well. Now much depleted its stream still runs down the hillside through a wooded gully to its base, where it is used by Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, before flowing into Meanwood beck. The spring, which has never run dry, was a place of pilgrimage at festivals, when sugar or liquorice were used to flavour the water.


On land originally owned by the monks of Kirkstall Abbey, the Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, now lies at the foot of Sugarwell Hill, and was opened in 1980. The farm is used to demonstrate various aspects of organic farming to the public and groups of schoolchildren. .


In 1999 the "Epicentre," an environmentally friendly building, with a turf roof, was opened by Prince Charles for exhibitions and meetings, and a reed bed drainage treatment system was installed to recycle water naturally. Water from the feeder tank at the bottom is propelled by the Archimedes screw to the two reedbed tanks at the top. The water is then filtered naturally and organically through the tanks to be reused.


The Courtyard Centre, with cafe, information centre and exhibits, was opened by Alan Titchmarsh in 2005, for the 25th anniversary celebrations.


Further up the valley, the land which is now Meanwood Park was purchased by Edward Oates in 1834, and he was responsible for much of its present appearance. At it's centre is the fast flowing meandering Meanwood Beck, over which he has placed an assortment of clapper and packhorse bridges.  He also built the pond and weirs, and raised several standing stones in the park, including the well known Witch Stone, that is over five feet tall.


The valley through which Meanwood beck flows has many feeder springs, an Eyebright Well, for the treatment of eye infections, was located near Ridge Grove, and a more modern well, the Revolution Well being located on Stonegate Road.


The whole valley stretching from Meanwood, via Adel, to Golden Acre Park provides a natural habitat for birds, fish, reptiles and animals, in its ponds, woods, bogland and heath.



Meanwood Park


The Witch Stone


The Farm "Epicentre"


Reed Bed Drainage Treatment System





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