The HAVA Area


HAVA covers the Hawksworth Wood, Abbeydales and Vesper area of Leeds.

The Hawksworth Wood, Abbeydales and Vespers area (HAVA) is within Kirkstall ward, Leeds West Parliamentary constituency and is approximately 5 miles from Leeds City Centre. There are around 6400 people living in the HAVA area.

Hawksworth is a small, early twentieth-century council estate in the Kirkstall ward in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.


It is situated on a hill between West Park and Horsforth and is circled by Butcher Hill, the A65 and Vesper Road. Hawksworth lies within the LS5 Kirkstall postcode area and is commonly known as The Hawk, The Hawky or The Hawky Estate.

The name Hawksworth Wood probably refers to the wood that stood to the west of Kirkstall Abbey. It provided shelter, fuel, pannage and building resources such as thatch for the abbey; timber was generally brought from elsewhere since Alexander, the founding abbot of Kirkstall who completed the initial building work, was concerned to preserve the woodland at Hawksworth.


After the First World War, councils were encouraged to build 'Homes fit for Heroes', and by 1930 7,000 new council houses had been built in Leeds, on estates which included the Hawksworth Wood.The woodland around the Hawksworth estate lies within the framework of the Upper Aire Valley. Parts of these sites were formerly quarried or gleaned for millstone grit but have now reverted to woodland and scrub.


The woodlands are predominantly mixed broadleaves mainly containing oak and sycamore, with the understories consisting of rowan, hazel, holly and guelder rose. Small pockets of heather can also be found. These woodlands provide considerable colour and diversity to this suburban and formerly industrial area and are currently managed to ensure a continuity of multi-aged tree cover. Great Hawksworth has received active management in recent years through the removal of invasive tree species and the promotion of understorey and ground flora. 


Numerous public rights of way run through the woods which are accessible via Butcher Hill, Hawksworth Road, New Road Side, Abbey Road, Vesper Road, Cragside Walk and Cragside Close.There is a metal hatch in Hawksworth Woods which is actually the entrance to an old explosives store from when the woods were once quarried for stone. It has been mistaken for a World War II shelter.


There are a few shops on the estate but no pubs. There once was a pub on Vesper Road called "The Woodway" which no longer exists. The nearest public house is "The Dalesman' on Butcher Hill. The main road into the estate from Horsforth. The only drinking place left on the estate now is the Conservative Club on Cragside Walk.Shops in the area include a post office, co-op, bakers and several fast food establishments.


Hawksworth Wood Primary School is the only school on the estate. It was originally Hawksworth Wood Primary School but was split into two in the 1970s: the Broadway building became Hawksworth Wood Primary, and the Cragside building was redeveloped with old and new buildings to become Vesper Gate Middle School. In recent times the Broadway building was refurbished to become Hawksworth Wood Children's Centre, including a facility for adult education previously run by Leeds City College this was closed some years ago. whilst the Cragside building is now called Hawksworth Wood Primary again. The nearest high school is Abbey Grange on Butcher Hill.