Message from the Chair
The Southern Pennines is just a great place to live, work and relax in.
This landscape that stretches from Holmfirth at its southern most tip, to Ilkley in the north, from the West Pennine Moors in the west to Sowerby Bridge in the east, is both inspirational and fascinating.
Its hills and valleys offer the visitor, investor or resident a heady cocktail of history and beauty that is recognised far beyond its own boundaries. Uniquely placed at the heart of 3 city regions, the green lung of the Southern Pennines gives millions of town and city folks the opportunity to step outside their front door and in less than an hour be in a landscape of moors and rivers, forests and commons, intersected by ancient rights of way, canal towpaths and newly created cycle routes.
“This landscape that stretches from Holmfirth at its southern most tip, to Ilkley in the north, from the West Pennine Moors in the west to Sowerby Bridge in the east, is both inspirational and fascinating.”
This Pennine countryside is for me a very special place. I came here from a red brick Lancashire cotton town 30 years ago and instantly fell in love with its complex charm. The weavers cottages, pack horse trails, mills and market towns, heather moorland and dramatic hillsides shout out to me their history. Man meeting nature and putting his stamp on what he saw. Today however, this relationship needs to be handled carefully. What we have is so special but it is under threat. Threat from development that is inappropriate, threat from unsustainable land management practices, threat from climate change and from human apathy, perhaps the greatest threat of all.
Pennine Prospects, a partnership of our local authorities, the water companies, and the heritage and voluntary sector, was created to champion these Southern Pennines. I am proud to be its chair, and am convinced that together with other likeminded people, we can ensure that this wonderful countryside will be there in all its glory for our children and other generations to come.