The Friends of Toftshaw are renovating the Toftshaw Pit Hill Pond, with a view to making it into an area where wildlife can thrive and the local community can enjoy the natural environment. As well as the pond and surrounding paths, there will be a dipping platform suitable for school children to come and do some pond dipping.
The project was made possible by the group taking the opportunity to run a Growing Great Places crowdfunding campaign. Over the course of their campaign, the Friends of Toftshaw raised £8,327 from 40 different backers. This included lots of pledges from local people in the community, local businesses, Northern Gas Networks and a pledge from Kirklees Council.
The project is now well underway and in a few months time the Friends of Toftshaw hope the whole area will have been transformed. Despite its success, the project has faced lots of challenges along the way.
The group reached their crowdfunding target during the time of Covid lockdowns, which put them on the back foot, unable to progress work that they’d planned. Even as lockdown restrictions eased, they were faced with operational and financial challenges because of price rises.
However, the group were spurred on by seeing how the greenspace was used more by the local community during this difficult couple of years. They knew that the renovations to Pit Hill Pond would have even more value for local people and they were encouraged to keep going.
Viv Cochrane, founder of the Friends of Toftshaw, told us about the support she received to bring the project to life through the Growing Great Places crowdfunding campaign, and why they decided to go through with it, even at such a challenging time.