Scene 1 Ilkley

This could be just about anywhere on the edge of town...
There is a recreation ground with a garage and Tesco just over the fence. It is just outside Ilkley, Yorkshire on the A65. You probably wouldnt give this a second look; yet it can be seen in other ways..

Walking down the lane, you may ask why it would be called. 150 years ago, that recreation ground would probably have been growing cereals. Between 1870 and now, the area growing cereals in England and Wales has dropped about a 1/3 from about 3,500kh to 2,500kh. Most of this loss is due to less oats, which would have been grown mainly for horses, but would now do wonders for reducing cholesterol levels. Wheat land dropped by half from 1870 to the start of WW2 (see Brinscall). Area increased in the 1970's on to mid 80's, to the level of a century before where it has remained since. We can see on this journey new wheat planting as world prices rose in 2008 encouraging more planting in more marginal areas (see Hoghton). 

Taken from the bottom of the lane with Ilkley Moor in the background, there is the familiar name which brings you all the food you want on the doorstep. 

So why bother looking at the land? The land here can grow more than grass and dandelions. Why isn't the recreation ground being used to grow vegetables for the store? Local, fresh sustainable fruit and vegetables that we are all told is the best for us, and the local economy. You could also make it an educational exercise. There are lots we can learn about ourselves about the way we treat the land, but we need to know how to understand what we are seeing. This tour round the Pennines may be able to help... 

(Please feel free to add other photos/stories..you can join in)
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