Thursday, 18 August 2011

Repair works to two Leeds bridges this weekend

Repair works will begin this Sunday (August 21st) on two bridges over the A647 Leeds-Bradford Road.

Leeds City Council will carry out the work, which involves replacing worn-out joints on Richardshaw Lane bridge and Swinnow Lane bridge, over the Stanningley Bypass (A647).

While the repairs are in progress, both the slip roads from the Stanningley Bypass to Richardshaw Lane will be closed to traffic with a diversion route sign posted. Local business will be open as usual.

On Swinnow Lane, one lane of the carriageway will be closed. The remaining lane will be controlled by temporary traffic lights. Traffic access across the bridge will be maintained at all times.

The repair programme is expected to take up to 12 weeks but work on the Richardshaw Lane bridge will only take place on Sundays. Work on Swinnow Lane bridge will continue throughout the week but only at off-peak periods.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:

“This is essential repair work and we ask that motorists please bear with us and plan ahead to allow extra time for any journeys affected by the diversions.”

Ends

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

Early signs suggest A-level success for young people in Leeds

Early signs suggest young people in Leeds will be celebrating today (18 August) after achieving higher grades in their A-level exams than ever before.

Leeds City Council is still collecting results from the city’s secondary schools with sixth forms* but early indicators - from around 75 per cent of schools and academies - show that four in every five students have passed three or more advanced level grades.

The figures also suggest that Leeds will see an increase in the overall number of students passing exams with the proportion rising to 99%.

Councillor Jane Dowson, deputy executive board member responsible for learning, said:
“The results so far have been promising and the early signs are that the city’s young people have done better than ever before. Education in the city is improving year on year so I would like to say well done to all of our young people and I hope that everyone who has received their A-level results is really pleased with what they have achieved.

“The schools, parents and carers will have all played a huge part in the young people’s successes so they deserve recognition for their support and efforts over the last two years.”

Nigel Richardson, director of children’s services said:
“Once again we are seeing some brilliant A-level results across the city. Our young people are leaving school with essential skills and qualifications which will help them achieve their full potential in life.

“The results reflect the hard work, effort and determination of our young people and the high quality of teaching in our schools, and I’d like to congratulate each and every young person on their achievements.”

The full picture of the overall results in Leeds will be published in the autumn term.

Notes to editors:

These figures are for maintained schools with sixth forms and academies but do not include colleges.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk


Rare Marbled White butterfly wings in to make Leeds home


Caption: A Marbled White butterfly, as photographed at Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve by Leeds City Council national environment manager Glen Gorner

Nature lovers are celebrating in Leeds after a rare butterfly was revealed to have taken up home in the area.

Visitors to Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve near Kippax have reported sightings of an unusual butterfly over the last 12 months, which has now been confirmed to be a Marbled White.

The species is more normally associated with warmer southern climates in the UK, but other sightings of colonies in Durham and on the Yorkshire Wolds have led experts to believe they are now moving north due to rising temperatures.

The exact locations of the sightings at Townclose Hills are being kept secret to keep the butterflies protected and undisturbed, but it is hoped the species will colonise the area as the limestone grassland and scrub areas to be found there provide the ideal habitat for the Marbled White to prosper. Townclose Hills is already home to several other butterfly species including Gatekeeper, Comma, Meadow Brown, Common Blue and Holly Blue.

In the wild, Marbled White caterpillars feed on fine grasses such as Festuca Rubra (red fescue) while the adults have a liking for the nectar from thistles and knapweed. The butterfly is poisonous to predators, a fact advertised by its bold black and white colouration.

The red fescue plant it feeds on as a caterpillar provides the key to its appearance and also its defence, as chemicals found in the plant are the reason for the adult butterfly being white or cream in colour while its toxicity comes from a fungus that is known to infect the red fescue which is ingested by the Marbled White without causing it any harm.

Townclose Hills (also known locally as Billy Wood) is maintained by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service with support from the Friends of Billy Wood and the Leeds Wildlife Volunteers.

As a result of their efforts the site is now renowned for being one of the finest wildlife sites in the city, with a wide variety of plant species including four types of orchids as well as hundreds of flower types such as cowslips, ox eye daisies, knapweed and clustered bellflowers to be seen.

Townclose Hills has also become famous for being home to the only colony of glow worms in the city, with the females glowing after dark in the midsummer to attract the flying males. The glow worms are found in the reserve because it is also home to large numbers of their prey – snails – which need the calcium nutrients found in the limestone soil in order to grow their shells.

Leeds City Council’s natural habitats manager Elaine Hill said:

“We are all really excited that the Marbled White butterfly has moved into Townclose Hills. We had heard several reports of sightings but then we were lucky enough to be able to see and take a photograph of one ourselves which confirmed it.

“We look forward to seeing more and more of them in the coming years as the colony develops, and the fact we have such a welcome new resident is in large part down to the efforts of the Friends of Billy Wood who give fantastic support and rightly take a huge amount of pride in what the nature reserve now has to offer as a fantastic place to visit.”

To find out more about Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve, go to www.leeds.gov.uk and search for Townclose Hills or call 0113 395 7400.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk