I’ve been talking recently with the folks behind a great new Pennines heritage trail that’s been devised in my area (the Colne Valley in West Yorkshire). They had incorporated a couple of my photos in their social media updates (very flattering) and I got in touch to find out a bit more about what they are doing.
The Yorkshire Group of the Milestone Society have been leading a group of local community organisations and volunteers in establishing a new trail in the area – the “Crossing the Pennines” Heritage Trail. The trail showcases the travel and transport history that has shaped the West Riding of Yorkshire.
At between 5 and 8 miles in length (depending on the detours you take to see some of the things they suggest), the Crossing The Pennines trail you get a great themed loop of a walk around Slaithwaite and Marsden.
The map of trail is here: http://crossingthepennines.co.uk/map.html
One specific part of the trail has the chance to receive funding so it can be restored for everyone’s enjoyment. And importantly, it would lead to job creation and subsequent increased revenue from tourism / walker numbers attracted into the area.
And you can help make it happen.
The part of the trail I’m referring to is a now-dilapidated section of the old (medieval) Packhorse Track, that ran from Halifax to Oldham. The track was a motorway of its day I guess, back before the iron and water tracks of rail and canal subsequently shaped the industrial life of Saddleworth and the Colne Valley.
The packhorse track restoration project has been shortlisted for the ‘PEOPLE’S MILLIONS‘ vote on Wednesday 26th November. If you love the idea of the track being renovated and the whole heritage trail really getting the support it deserves, then please vote via the link above.
I’ve actually walked down that section of packhorse track a few times during my wanderings and never realised what it was. I know the tracks that divide in Marsden (either heading around Pule Hill towards Castleshaw and Oldham or heading to Eastergate and on to Rochdale) were packhorse tacks. I just hadn’t thought about where the main track in Marsden had originated from. Or just how old it was.
Yesterday I had a walk and looked at the track with fresh eyes. Not the full trail of 8 miles, as time was sadly tight, just the northern section that contains the section of the packhorse track mentioned above. It was misty enough for me to not be distracted by distant vistas, so I ruminated on those traders (Jaggers, as they were called) heading back and forth across the Pennines.
Talking of ruminating, we were watched a couple of times by ruminating cows and sheep, looming out of the mist.
The whole trail has been well thought out, with lots of historical research put into it. And packhorse track restoration is a great initiative, vote on the day if you can.