One of the best things about living in North East Leeds is the vast amount of green space, hidden woodland and secret pathways. It is possible to live in the area for years and not find any of them. Unless someone shows you, these delights remain well hidden from all but the most curious.
One of my favourites over the years has been a little section along Wyke Beck just off North Lane in Leeds 8. It is a mysterious, atmospheric path, carpeted in bluebells and pungent wild garlic at this time of year, and although there has always been an obvious footpath, it seemed to meander along in a strangely unfocused manner. But in recent months, the whole path has been inaccessible for works, and I had been waiting impatiently for completion before the spring gave way to the tired foliage of summer.
Patience has now been rewarded, and I was excited to find proper wooden steps in place down to the path (previously a lethal slide through mud) and to see a new cycle way weaving along the beck. I was even more excited at the end of the path to see a large notice board with a mass of information about the ancient wet woodland going back some 500 years, and a suggestion that there would be a proper country cycle way all the way from Roundhay Park to Killingbeck.
Momentous news indeed. Leeds is frankly not a great place for cyclists. The prospect now of an idyllic cycle trail almost makes up for the fact that all recent council road refurbishments do no more than paint a silly white line two feet from the kerb to create a cycle path.
The only one who will be less than thrilled by me dragging everyone out on a cycle ride will be the dog. Who sadly, with her little legs, will have to stay behind whilst we whizz along one of her favourite runs.