Ideal Christmas presents offer real ale enthusiasts the opportunity to help save an endangered small ground-nesting bird of the South Pennines.

Posted: 1.12.11

Pennine Prospects, working in partnership with the RSPB, has been instrumental in a number of initiatives through the Watershed Landscape project to help the struggling Twite, which in England now only breeds in the South Pennines and whose population had dropped by over 90 per cent in the past 14 years.

Now the Little Valley Brewery has joined the fight to save the Twite, locally known as the Pennine Finch, with the introduction of the Light Twite, an organic bottle conditioned pale ale, which is only available from Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre.

Sue Cooper, joint owner of the ethical brewery based in Cragg Vale, said it had been a pleasure to work with Pennine Prospects, the rural development company that commissioned the Light Twite. “The conservation aspect of the project fits so well with our own value base so we were delighted to be asked to create a private label beer to raise the profile of the Twite Recovery Project.

“This is a bottle conditioned beer which continues to mature in the bottle using a traditional method of brewing that has been recognised by the campaign for real ale (CAMRA) as real ale in a bottle,” explained Sue, who started the Little Valley Brewery with Wim van der Spek in 2005. Since then the brewery has gained widespread recognition.

Charlotte Weightman, RSPB Twite Recovery Project, said this project has an added synergy.

“There is a special connection between the Little Valley Brewery and the Twite as, not only are they both in the South Pennines, but they also both use the same water. The brewery gets its water from Withens Clough Reservoir, which is in the very heart of Twite country.”

The creation of the Light Twite Pale Ale, with a label designed by Hebden Bridge-based Watershed Landscape artist in residence, Angie Rogers, will help lift the profile of the Twite Recovery Project and with

Christmas just round the corner offers the perfect gift for real ale enthusiasts.

The Twite Recovery Project is supported by the Watershed Landscape Project with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by Pennine Prospects, in partnership with the RSPB and Natural England, with support from Kirklees Council and South Pennines LEADER.

A number of initiatives are being implemented to help protect the seed-eating Twite, from the restoration of hay meadows close to the moorland edge to the monitoring of bird numbers by volunteers, the introduction of new fire-fighting equipment to help prevent moorland fires which can devastate nesting sites and the introduction of wider educational programmes in local schools.

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust