Work is due to start today on landscaping and a new riverside walk nature reserve at Buck Lane in Baildon.

The environmental improvements by Bradford Council will be carried out as part of planning permission granted for the area’s £25 million high-tech business park development.

But although the work has been welcome by those who protested against the development, they say it would never have been needed if the site had been left as green fields.

New trees will be planted along Otley Road to replace those lost by the construction of a new highway junction. They will include oak, maple, lime and horse chestnut, to provide an attractive entrance to the new business park.

The highway banking will be seeded with wild flowers and fencing will be provided to the new bridleway.

The floodplain next to the river will be transformed into a wildflower meadow, with a wetland area. The idea is to form a natural extension to the Denso Nature Reserve and provide an ideal environment for insects, small mammals and birds.

The border between the development site and the floodplain will also be improved using a combination of hedge laying and planting.

Mike Cowlam, Bradford Council’s Interim Strategic Director of Regeneration and Culture, said: “These environmental improvements are an important part of the whole project.

“The new wildflower meadow will be a welcome addition to the area and improve what is currently unmanaged open grassland. It will also provide an opportunity for the Friends of Denso Nature Reserve to increase awareness of the Aire Valley’s natural environment.”

The business park plans were bitterly fought by action group Baildon Residents Against Inappropriate Development.

It objected to the proposals for two years, but had to admit defeat in February last year when diggers moved on site to start developing the 15 acres of green land.

BRAiD secretary Ed Butterworth said the landscaping was “good news.”

“We’re happy the work is being done and the reservoir is welcome, but fundamentally it shouldn’t be necessary because Buck Lane shouldn’t have been developed.”

The group has written to the Council asking for a review into the site’s development and whether it will deliver on its promise of 700 jobs.