Animal Friendly Headingley
Headingley’s green girdle of half-a-dozen parks provide havens for a wide range of wild animals – and different creatures favour different parks. In addition, much of Headingley has a rich tree cover. At the same time, parks are a favourite venue for domestic animals – especially dog-walkers. For details, go to Parks.
Meanwood Beck flows between The Hollies and Meanwood Park, and below Woodhouse Ridge, and is a distinctive habitat for water-side creatures – ducks of course, but also herons, kingfishers and so on. Between Grove Lane and Monkbridge Road there are a pond and a wildflower meadow.
As important as the open spaces are the gardens of Headingley, for wild as well as domestic animals. They can be made all the more welcoming with appropriate planting. A number of plant shops and other outlets can supply those who want to cultivate a creature-friendly garden. For details, go to Plants & Gardens
● For vets, visit Aire Veterinary Centre on Kirkstall Lane at http://aireveterinarycentre.co.uk.websitebuilder.prositehosting.co.uk/ , or Yorkshire Vets on Green Road in Meanwood at https://www.yorkshirevets.co.uk/surgeries/meanwood/
● For cat rescue, contact Feline Friends at http://www.leedsfelinefriends.org.uk/home; see also, Cats Protection shop in Headingley at https://www.cats.org.uk/
● Hope Pastures provides a sanctuary for horses, ponies and donkeys, and is open to visitors.
● Four Paws Pet Shop on Butcher Hill provides a great range of products, and a hub of information relating to local dog and cat based issues; they don't sell any animals.
● Goods for both wildlife and pets can also be found at Wilko’s in the Arndale Centre.
Animals to Visit
Headingley once had a zoo. The Zoological & Botanical Gardens (the ‘Old Gardens’) were opened in 1840 but lasted only a few years, before being sold for housing. The vestiges which remain include the Bear Pit on Cardigan Road, most of the perimeter wall, and the spacious properties built on the site, between Spring Road and Cardigan Lane. For more info, go to Headingley Zoo.
Hope Pastures is open free of charge every day. The sanctuary hopes to provide an environment where young people can learn directly about caring for horses and about animal welfare. “It’s our belief that in doing this we will help nurture a generation that values the natural world around us and seeks to protect the environment and the animals with whom we share this planet.” Visit http://www.hopepastures.org/
Meanwood Valley Urban Farm
Just over Meanwood Beck, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm (a registered charity) was established in 1980 to provide services to inner city communities. From the Farm’s humble beginnings operating from two old caravans, it has grown into a 24 acre site. It’s not only a working farm with a wide variety of animals but also a major centre for community and environment work. Visit http://www.mvuf.org.uk/
Animal-Free (Vegan) Food
For an animal-free menu, the first port of call must be the two local shops opposite each other on North Lane, Harris greengrocer and the Natural Food Store. The monthly Farmers Market nearby also includes vegan stalls. Also well worth a visit are the Continental Supermarket and Abu Bakr in the Brudenells. And the Co-op and Sainsbury chains also provide vegan lines. For details, go to Food Shops
Most cafes and restaurants in Headingley offer vegetarian options, and Vital Cafe specialises in vegan cuisine. Many others also provide vegan options, including Dare Café, Assembly in HEART, Cafe Lento, the Cat’s Pyjamas, Pizza Express, Ecco Pizzeria and the Thai restaurants, Sukothai, Thai Sabai and Jino’s. Mardin and Slips Deli cafes advertise as ‘vegan-friendly’. Meanwhile, Salvo’s has an excellent vegetarian range – and even a Vegan Menu. For details, go to Cafes and Restaurants