RSPB closes nature park visitor centre

The RSPB is embarking on an exciting new venture with the launch of a new 400-hectare site on the outskirts of Leeds. Specifically designed for both people and wildlife, the new site will open to the public on 25 May 2013.' 'Just outside Leeds, on the banks of the River Aire, St Aidan's ' best described as a nature park ' will be the perfect place for people to get close to nature and relax, unwind or exercise in a stress-free environment. With over 12km of footpaths, bridleways and cycle paths interconnecting through the site, visitors will have an unrivalled opportunity to explore the natural world.' 'Darren Starkey, RSPB site manager for the Aire Valley, said: 'Although the site will be managed for nature conservation ' just like other RSPB sites 'the difference here is that it will also be open for a wide range of activities, from cycling and walking to jogging and horse riding.'
The RSPB is embarking on an exciting new venture with the launch of a new 400-hectare site on the outskirts of Leeds. Specifically designed for both people and wildlife, the new site will open to the public on 25 May 2013.' 'Just outside Leeds, on the banks of the River Aire, St Aidan's ' best described as a nature park ' will be the perfect place for people to get close to nature and relax, unwind or exercise in a stress-free environment. With over 12km of footpaths, bridleways and cycle paths interconnecting through the site, visitors will have an unrivalled opportunity to explore the natural world.' 'Darren Starkey, RSPB site manager for the Aire Valley, said: 'Although the site will be managed for nature conservation ' just like other RSPB sites 'the difference here is that it will also be open for a wide range of activities, from cycling and walking to jogging and horse riding.'
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The RSPB has temporarily closed its visitor centre and car park at the new St Aidan’s Nature Park after landowner UK Coal went into administration.

The park will remain open, but Peter Robinson, RSPB regional director, said it took the decision as a result of legal uncertainty.

He said: “The footpaths and bridleways will remain open, and RSPB staff and volunteers will continue to be present on site, to ensure visitors are still able to enjoy this wonderful place.

“The RSPB has no legal tenure and cannot continue to operate the car park and visitor centre on the basis of goodwill alone.

“UK Coal, the current landowner, went into administration on July 9 which has created significant uncertainty over when the handover to Leeds City Council, and the subsequent lease to the RSPB, will be in place.

“The RSPB is continuing to work closely with both parties to secure the future of St Aidan’s, and hopes to reopen its visitor operation as soon as possible.”

St Aidan’s, a former open cast mining site, opened in May.

Visit www.rspb.org.uk/staidans for more information about the site.