September Hikes

Landscape and wildlife photographs taken during September in the hills and dales around the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge. A walkers’ paradise and wildlife haven in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire, on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse holiday cottage at Pecket Well, above Hebden Bridge, near Hardcastle Crags, Haworth and the Yorkshire Dales.

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

August Ambles

Photographs of landscape and wildlife taken during August walks in the Yorkshire hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A walkers’ paradise and haven for nature in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire, on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, near Haworth and the Yorkshire Dales.

Summer Saunters

July jaunts in the Yorkshire hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire, on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse.

Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade

The Handmade Parade is one of the highlights of the annual Hebden Bridge Arts Festival held in the town each June. Organised by a team of professional carnival artists, puppeteers, makers, musicians, stilt walkers and performers, the Handmade Parade brings together local schools and community groups from throughout the Upper Calder Valley in a vibrant and colourful spectacle. 

Handmade Parade 2019

Handmade Parade 2016

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

June Jaunts

June jaunts in the Yorkshire hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire, on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse.

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

May Meanders


May meanders in the Yorkshire hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire, on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse.

April Peregrinations

April Peregrinations in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

March Meanders

March hikes in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saltaire near Shipley – only 16 miles from Elmet Farmhouse – is great place for a day out. A model village built in the mid 19th century by the philanthropic industrialist Sir Titus Salt (1803-1876), it was created to provide high-quality housing for the thousands of workers at Salt’s Mill, his huge complex of textile factories next to the River Aire.

Almost every aspect of this extraordinary development was the brainchild of this visionary man, from the magnificent Italianate Salt’s Mill (1853) designed by Lockwood and Mawson, to the elegant Congregational Church (1859) with its circular tower, and the imposing Saltaire Institute, 1869, flanked by four majestic carved stone lion sculptures by Thomas Milnes. Saltaire is so unusual and well-preserved that the whole village has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a walk around the village and admire the handsome stone terraced houses designed in a variety of different styles. Don’t miss the shops and cafes on Victoria Road in Saltaire Village and the regular vintage fairs in the grand Victoria Hall. There’s more to see in Roberts Park (opened in 1871) across the footbridge over the river, where you can watch the cricket, stroll along the promenade, listen to the band or take tea in the Half Moon Cafe. Nearby Shipley Glen Tramway, dating from 1895, is open during the summer months.

Salt’s Mill                                                                                                                            

Although the textile industry is long gone, Salt’s Mill has been resurrected as an exciting cultural and creative hub. Beautifully restored, it houses a dynamic complex of galleries, shops and restaurants, including two enormous bookshops, an antiques centre, a buzzing diner and a design shop called The Home.

A unique feature of Salt’s Mill are the hundreds of works of art by multi-talented Bradford-born artist David Hockney, informally displayed all over the building. Hockney’s work is lively and colourful, and the work on show spans his long and varied career, including paintings, prints, photomontages and posters, as well as his latest digital paintings created using an ipad.

Complementing Hockney’s vibrant paintings is an exuberant collection of Victorian ceramics made by the Burmantofts Pottery in Leeds. Decorated with brightly-coloured glazes, these large pots are a visual delight and reflect another aspect of the creativity in the West Riding.

Saltaire’s Textile Heritage                                                                                                                                                            

Saltaire’s textile heritage is recorded in a fascinating series of paintings by Leeds-born artist Henry Carr R.A. illustrating textile manufacturing processes. Specially commissioned by Salt’s Mill between 1957-59, many of the paintings are on unusual irregular-shaped canvases. They accurately record each stage of the manufacturing process, from sorting, scouring and combing the wool, to spinning the yarn and weaving the cloth, to dyeing and inspecting the fabric. Recently restored, these wonderful paintings are now displayed in various parts of the mill.

Salt’s Mill, Saltaire BD18 3LA. Tel 01274 531163. www.saltsmill.org.uk

Saltaire Village: www.saltairevillage.info/

© Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

Birds of many Feathers

Birds of many feathers flock together in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge                                                                                                                                   

Whether you’re a serious birdwatcher or simply enjoy observing garden birds, there’s a wealth of birdlife in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge. Because of its hilltop location, Elmet Farmhouse is the perfect place for birdwatching. Surrounded by meadows, with woods and rivers in the valley below and open moorland on the uplands above, there’s an unusually diverse array of species in close proximity.

From golden plovers, lapwings and curlews up on ‘the tops’, to kestrels, swallows and pheasants in the fields, to woodpeckers, tawny owls and treecreepers in the woods and herons, dippers and grey wagtails by the river, there’s great scope for bird-watching in the Upper Calder Valley. These photos record some of the birds we’ve encountered locally in the last few years.

Blue Tits

Barn Owls

Black-headed Gulls

Blackbirds

Buzzards

Canada Geese

Chaffinches

Chiffchaff

Coal Tits

Curlews

Dippers

Dunnock

Fieldfares

Gadwall Ducks

Golden Plovers

Goldfinches

Goosanders

Great Spotted Woodpeckers 

Greenfinches

Grey Herons

Grey Wagtails

Greylag Geese

Herring Gulls

House Sparrows

Jackdaws

Jays

Kestrels

Lapwings

Little Owls

Mallard Ducks

Meadow Pipits

Mistle Thrushes

Northern Wheatears

Oystercatchers

Pheasants

Pied Wagtails

Ravens

Red Grouse

Redpolls

Redshanks

Redwings

Reed Buntings

Rooks

Sandpipers

Short-Eared Owls

Siskins

Skylarks

Snipe

Song Thrushes

Starlings

Swallows

Tawny Owls

Treecreepers

Tufted Ducks

Willow Warblers

Wrens

For up to date news about sightings by keen local birdwatchers, visit Calderdale Birds

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick