We are going on an expedition around the Western Pennines, looking at how the land could look different. Much of the land looks like this pasture with walls round the fields - here beneath Pendle Hill. Does it have to be like that? The land is not fixed. Anybody who has worked the land, even in a garden, knows how we can change things.
The land here is hard to work, and even harder to make a living from. But if we want to make a contribution to 'Food Security and Sustainability', we should be making better use of this sort of land.
Some people want to make out that land looks the way it does 'because that is the natural way of things'. In other words:"You can't change that!" However it changes all the time We will see how the land may have looked in times gone by, and that can help us decide what could happen in the future. We need to be able to ask how we could to run the land better - both for people and the planet. To do that, a lot has to change...
We can do all sorts of things with land - or rather the soil that makes the Earth what it is. It often needs a lot of toil to make the soil work well. Soil and toil. Land and labour. If we want to change the food we eat, it starts here. So to give an idea of all the sorts of thing land can do, we are going on a tour of the Western Pennines. Most of this land is classified as Grade 3 and 4. Grade 3 is usually permanent pasture, with Grade 4 difficult to farm. Grade 5 are the moors. Grades 1 & 2 are more valued and usually farmed for crops - called arable land.
At each stage - from Ilkley to Saltaire to Haworth on to HB then Tod..outline
Why the land looks the way it does reflects a lot of history, much of it about power and struggle.
On the way will circle Pendle Hill. The local story of the Pendle Witch Trial Trail reflects land issues. The so-called witches lived on common land, some having being thrown off their own land during local enclosures, and were then convicted by a judge currying favour with the King.
We stumble over some of the same families now who were involved then.
In time, we'll be more accurate and GPS where all the scenes are, so you could put it in your phone.
Notes for site..does anybody know anywhere growing vines, sugar beet or Oilseed Rape?