Location plan

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Landscape and wildlife habitat


The Unitary Development Plan policy text offers these descriptions of the local landscape.

"The Wilsden character area is a sheltered, settled landscape dominated by the three principal settlements of Harden, Wilsden and Cullingworth which nestle in the concave landform of sheltered hollows and dips.
Farmsteads are scattered throughout the landscape but are often large, and extended with modern farm buildings. It is a well wooded area with significant, sometimes dominant, mixed plantations interspersed with actively farmed pasture, surrounded predominantly by stone walls.
Parkland also contributes significantly to the landscape and there are small outcrops of gritstone moorland around Harden Moor."

"Although Thornton/Queensbury is an area of traditional pasture dominated landscape with scattered farmsteads, its character has been urbanised by a proliferation of pylons marching across the landscape. The farm units are often supported by the dual economy system, whereby the marginal agricultural infrastructure is supplemented by other land uses such as haulage, storage of materials and riding stables."

These references do not describe the natural beauty of the landscape, particularly as seen from the disused railway.


Wildlife habitat

Alan Whitaker, journalist, railway historian, and wildlife enthusiast, writes:

"The railway corridor provides important habitat for wildlife. Rabbits, brown hares, squirrels, foxes and hedgehogs are not uncommon. Weasels, stoats, fieldmice, voles and shrews are seen less frequently. At dusk and dawn bats are on the wing.

Many varieties of butterfly are to be seen including less common species - Dark Green Fritillary, Comma, Painted Lady, Green Hairstreak, Common Blue, and Brimstone. The six-spot Burnet Moth is there by the score in late July/early August.

All common native birds are regularly spotted and the more rarely seen Redstart, Tawny Owl. Barn Owl, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Redpoll, Goldfinch, Jay, Fieldfare, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush.

Wetland areas support modest populations of frogs, toads and newts".

The railway trail will provide an important resource for school field study trips. Bradford Urban Wildlife Trust is represented on the Great Northern Railway Trail Forum and is willing to advise on protecting and managing sensitive areas of habitat.


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