Friends of Cliffe House

Friends of Cliffe House

Project Title

FINK LINK (Friends in Natural Kirklees LINK)


To provide a variety of plants in key locations to enhance areas used as part of the educational aspects for the attending children and the wider community enjoying the facilities during school holidays. Plants for the main border alongside the main lawn. Aquatic, marginal and shrub planting at the Ephemeral Pond site.


  • 1. The benefits will be mainly visual for the Lawn area that is seen from the House and when activities are held on the lawn by the schools and those that visit at other times. The various types of plants for this part will be educational as explanations of the combination of varieties will be explained. The benefit for the plants at the Pond is huge. These plants will enhance the work already carried out under an earlier project by encouraging Damselflies and Dragonflies to lay eggs and then encourage Frogs, Toads and Newts to flourish there.   This will become a major part of the school education programme and for other site visits. The Pond work in a previous project was to bring the 3 ephemeral ponds back to life. 

  • 2. Cliffe House provides a wonderful mix of opportunities for the wide Kirklees community to enjoy. The FoCH support ensures there is a link between the location (Shepley) and that wider Community and this project will enable us to strengthen that link when we hold fundraising events and support management community initiatives. Cliffe House has Sapling Adventure Club for age 18 months to 4 years that meets on Mondays. They are basically an outdoor club. An advantage is that one day these children will eventually use the facilities as Schoolchildren. And be taken there by grandparents at other times. One day they too will become parents and so it goes on. The more interesting we can make the experience the better. So much more can be achieved when out of term events are planned as how improved facilities are.

  • 3. The Wellbeing aspect is huge. For a start the Cliffe House Woodlands Volunteer Team, who will carry out the work, will benefit hugely knowing their work is appreciated by users of the gardens. The school children will always remember their visits and part of the education will be understanding more about Pond life. Parents bring their children at various times in half terms, Grandparents bring their grandchildren too then and at weekends. The more interesting things that are available to interact with the better. 

  • 4. Tough call on Carbon Reduction evaluation but any improvement in plant life is good. For Birds and Bees etc. But the Biodiversity benefit is great. Appropriate plant life at ponds creates the most wonderful combination for the insect, mammal, and amphibian life there. What a wonderful combination that makes. Kids of all ages 18 months to 100 years love that combination


Jul 22- Following an invite from Jill (FOCH Chair) to the Cliffe House Garden Party, I have now witnessed the planting in the long border. It is a splendid show. I also had the priviledge of a guided tour of the house and while it is now adapted practically as a school, it ranks as one of the most interesting historic houses I have ever visited. As the visit was on the day of the garden party the ponds were out of bounds but from a distance, the planting appears to have happened.

May 22 – John and the Friends of Cliffe House submitted a very professional application, listing the plants they wished to place in the long border at the back of Cliffe House and an additional amount for planting up around the newly created ponds. As summer progresses we – the trustees – will arrange to revisit the site and really look forward to seeing the difference the grant has made and posting more photos of the site.