Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Time for a tipple at Temple

Wine-lovers keen to know their chardonnay from their shiraz should head to Temple Newsam for a special tasting session next week.

The event to be held from 7:30pm-9:30pm on Friday 3rd September is a beginners’ guide to identifying wines from France. Organised by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service, the tasting session will cover the wines to found in the Alsace and Burgundy regions.

Guidance will be given on how to easily identify different wines as well as regional variations to improve the knowledge base of those attending to use when they come to select their own wines for personal enjoyment.

Temple Newsam Estate enterprise and retail officer Linda Gunn said:

“This is going to be a great fun event which we hope will help people find out more about the different types of wine and work out what wines they enjoy. We look forward to seeing lots of people there having a fun night.”

Tickets for the tasting session are priced £15 per person which includes wine samples and must be purchased in advance. Those attending must be aged 18 and over, with numbers strictly limited and allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

For further information or to book tickets please call Temple Newsam Estate on 0113 264 5535.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Leeds gets ready to go batty

Caption: Pipistrelle Bats like this one are known to be living at Kirkstall Abbey (Image courtesy of Hugh Clark, Bat Conservation Trust)

Visitors to Kirkstall Abbey this week really will get the chance to see if there are bats in the belfry as Leeds celebrates European Bat Weekend.

The mystical creatures of the night which attract fear and amazement in equal measure will be the focus of attention at two free events organised by Leeds City Council taking place on Saturday 28th August.

The day begins at Leeds Museum Discovery Centre at Clarence Dock from 1-4pm where curator of natural science Clare Brown will give a talk about the famous winged animals, how they live and also a unique look at Leeds museums and galleries’ own bat collection. Suitable for anyone over the age of five, the event also includes bat-related craft activities and games, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the objects in the Discovery Centre’s store area. Places at the talk are limited and to book a place please call 0113 214 1548.

The action then moves on to Kirkstall Abbey at 7pm where, as darkness falls, those brave enough can take a guided tour of the abbey ruins and the surrounding parkland in search of the resident bats.

Kirkstall Abbey has become renowned in recent years for being a home to the common Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s Bats (also known as the Water Bat), as the location is ideal close to the River Aire and the nearby West Leeds Country Park. The bats can often be seen in the roof of the abbey ruins, and studies carried out by Leeds City Council have shown their numbers to be on the increase.

Places on the evening walk are strictly limited to 20 and are free but with a small donation welcomed. Anyone attending under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. To book a place please call species conservation officer Kerry Fieldhouse on 0113 237 5326.

Leeds City Council species conservation officer Kerry Fieldhouse said:

“We are really pleased to be taking part in European Bat Weekend with these two great free events. As people find out more information about bats the fear-factor around them is now being replaced by admiration as in their own way they are beautiful and amazing creatures. We hope people of all ages come along to the Discovery Centre and Kirkstall Abbey and join us in celebrating these wonderful animals.”

The events in Leeds are part of European Bat Weekend which sees activities taking place in 30 countries this weekend to raise awareness about local bat populations and their importance to ecosystems.

In Britain, events are co-ordinated by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) which is devoted to the conservation of bats and the landscapes in which bats live. It is hoped European Bat Weekend will encourage thousands of people across the country to see and hear bats in their natural environment by taking part in a range of events including bat walks, illustrated talks, children's workshops and demonstrations on how to make bat boxes. The events are organised by local bat groups, wildlife trusts, countryside rangers and other organisations across the country; for details of events see

Notes to editors:

The work of the Bat Conservation Trust includes monitoring bat populations, policy and advocacy, conservation action and inspiring people about bats and engaging communities with bat conservation. For more information call 0845 1300 228 or visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Independent living celebration in Wetherby

An afternoon of celebration is planned at a new independent living complex in Wetherby, to celebrate the return of its residents after almost a year away.

Three brand new purpose-built bungalows, each housing four tenants, have been built on the site of the former Templars Croft Hostel - a large, outdated building which struggled to meet the needs of the people with learning disabilities that lived there.

The new accommodation offers its tenants the opportunity to live independently, whilst knowing that the appropriate level of care and support is available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For those involved, it marks an exciting new beginning and a move from shared space in a hostel to independent living in small groups – a change from being a ‘resident’ to a ‘tenant’.

The tenants were keen to mark this new beginning and celebrate their return from the temporary accommodation that they have lived in for the past 12 months. Family and friends have been invited along to Templars Croft to take part in fun activities such as splash the staff, face painting, bake a cake, hook a duck, coconut shy, which have been organised by staff, and celebrate with food and drinks provided by the tenant themselves.

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Media are invited to the Templars Croft Fun Day on Thursday, 26 August at 2pm to take pictures and speak to residents and staff about their new accommodation.
Please contact Claire Macklam on Leeds 395 1578 to arrange attendance.

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John McPaddon, a tenant of the new independent living project at Templars Croft said:
“My new home is brilliant. I have never lived anywhere so posh before – its just like a hotel!”

“It also feels really great that we’re all back together again, after living apart for nearly a year whilst the new place was being built.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“This new accommodation will provide a much richer experience for our customers, whilst giving them and their families the peace of mind that support is on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It puts the person in control of his or her own life, instead of their care having to fit into institutional timetables and rotas.

“Its great to see how proud the new tenants of Templars Croft are of their new homes, and this fun day is a fabulous way of celebrating their new independent living arrangements.”

Additional info

The independent living project seeks to increase opportunities for adults in Leeds with learning disabilities or mental health needs to live independently. It is doing this by replacing hostel-style accommodation with high quality, purpose built properties across a number of sites throughout Leeds.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578