Friday 12 to Sunday 21 July 2019 is #LoveParksWeek and Calderdale Council are encouraging you to use their many parks by giving you a different reason each day to get out & enjoy your favourite Calderdale park!

Your open & green spaces offer wildlife, beautiful surroundings, games, sports and more.

Discover Jungle Experience in award winning Manor Heath Park, Explore the beautifully restored grounds at Shibden or enjoy the beautiful flowers at Wellhome Park.

Calderdale boasts a unique landscape and rich heritage which is reflected in the regions’ Parks and Open Spaces.

Open and green spaces have so much to offer from enjoying wildlife and relaxing in beautiful surroundings, to taking part in games and sports.

There is such a variety of things to do and see in Calderdale’s many parks:


LOCAL HISTORY: Shibden Hall Park

Shibden Hall has been in the news for the last month or so as the setting for “Gentleman Jack” the BBC’s dramatization of Anne Lister’s life.

But what is the background story of the wonderful parkland that surrounds the Hall? Calderdale Council have published a short history of the park and its management.

Link: Shibden Park Estate Website

  • Shibden Hall was built towards the end of the 15th century and has evolved to suit the needs of its owners. The Otes family were the first recorded inhabitants of the estate c.1420, followed by subsequent generations of gentleman clothiers who lived there during the 15th and 16th centuries.  The changes that have taken place within the house, and its collections, reflect this evolutionary process and the people that lived there and used them.

    Grade II* listed Shibden Hall was owned by the Lister family for over 300 years.  A major period of alteration to the building came in the 1830s under the direction of Anne Lister, transforming it into a 19th century ‘Tudor’ hall set in a picturesque landscape.  The 17th century aisled barn contains a collection of horse drawn vehicles.  The roof timbering is a fine example of construction typical of the 17th century.

    The park comprised 36 hectares, 90 acres, (now 31 h, 76 acres) of the estate in about 1836, when romantic elements were introduced into the landscape with the creation of the cascade and wilderness to the south of the Hall, and the new lake in the valley, by the landscape architect William Gray. The terrace was created by the architect John Harper to provide Shibden with an elevated platform.  The house looks due south and incorporates tunnels at the eastern end to provide access to the terrace and park for the gardening staff.

    Whilst many of the plans were completed prior to Anne Lister’s death in 1840, much of the sweeping, open parkland was put in place by her successor, Dr. John Lister.  A ‘Paisley Shawl’ garden, in the form of serpentine shaped beds, was created on the terrace in 1855, with the addition of a lean-to conservatory at the eastern end and a new pond, fed by the cascade, below the terrace.

    The park opened to the public in 1926 and has developed as recreational facility since then.  Changes to the landscape character since that time include:

  • 1926 formalising of the mere to a boating lake, new path network and entrance 
  • 1930s planting of an avenue of trees along the middle drive 
  • 1930s bandstand erected on lower grassed area (demolished) 
  • 1940s additional parcels of land incorporated into park, including clay workings which are now a pitch and putt course
  • 1953 creation of one of the country’s first folk museums within the outbuildings at the rear of the hall by Frank Atkinson (Beamish) 
  • 1970s toilets and other park facilities appear in the lower park (may  have replaced earlier buildings) 
  • 1980s closure of the Council nursery within the kitchen garden (Cunnery Wood)  Miniature Railway introduced to the lower park 
  • 1990s gradual decline of kitchen garden walls, native woodland tree species planted and native flora supported in Cunnery Wood. Formal bedding and modern shrub bed planting in lower park along with extension of woodland areas within the park

Upon the death of John Lister in 1933, the hall passed to the people of Halifax and opened to the public as a museum in 1934.  The folk museum, housed in the 17th century aisled barn and outbuildings, was developed by Frank Atkinson (creator of Beamish) and opened in 1953.

The Shibden Park Restoration Project 

Following approval by the Heritage Lottery Fund in December 2005, the restoration project was tendered and construction work commenced in March 2007. This construction project was completed in July 2008. The main elements of the restoration project were: 

  • Repair of terrace walls, the lodge, barn (gardeners depot)  
  • Opening of the Gardeners tunnel  
  • Wilderness Garden and cascades restored including rockwork, planting and footpaths 
  • Lily pond repaired and creation of new pond to re-form original shape, planting and estate railings 
  • Tunnel under Shibden Hall Road repaired and opened for public access 
  • Boundary walls repaired (part) 
  • Cunnery Wood footpath link to the tunnel 
  • Red Beck walls repaired (part) and bridges repaired 
  • The Mere walls repaired, marginal planting and footpath improvements 
  • Construction of a new boathouse 
  • New borehole supply to the Mere to improve water quality 
  • New gates to Lister’s Road entrance 
  • Repairs to Lister’s Road bridge and new footpath to main drive 
  • New gates to Main Park entrance  
  • Car parks and access and drainage improved 
  • Footpath improvements and repairs 
  • Tree planting and appropriate removal to restore historic vistas 
  • New inclusive play equipment 
  • Play area toilets refurbished  
  • Park furniture renewed, Interpretation and signage installed 
  • The refreshment kiosk, café and toilets were demolished and replaced by the new visitor’s centre, café and rangers office  
  • New toilets at the Museum car park
  • Other features within the estate include an exhibit of dry stone walling techniques constructed by the Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA), the Miniature Railway, the pitch & putt course, boating facility and paddling pool.

DIET: Are Meat Substitutes Healthier?

With vegetarian and vegan diets become more popular, we are right to ask whether meat substitutes are actually healthier than meat itself.

Of course, it depends on the particular product, how a person prepares it, and which meat they are comparing it with.

It’s not always better to eat a meat substitute, especially if the substitute is high in sugar, salt, saturated fats, or processed ingredients. In these cases, and if you have no moral objections to eating meat, it’s better to be eating fish or organic chicken breast. Meats are also rich sources of protein and contain all the essential amino acids. They also contain iron and vitamin B-12, which many plant foods do not contain.

However, eating lots of processed, salted meats may not be better than eating natural meat alternatives.

However, meat also contains no fiber and may contain cholesterol and saturated fat. The American Institute for Cancer Research say that eating more than 18 oz of red meat per week raises the risk of colorectal cancer.

Also, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggest that eating some meat is fine and may be beneficial, as fish contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats. However, they also suggest that people minimize their intake of processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and meats high in saturated fats.

People who are not following a vegetarian or vegan diet may find that substituting with meat alternatives is both healthful and environmentally conscious. It’s now generally recognised that society’s higher consumption of processed and red meat led to increased CO2 emissions, which are harmful to the environment.

The website Medical News Today recently published an article comparing and evaluating the nutritional value of the various meat substitutes – Read Article

HEALTH: Treating Back Pain

Chronic or long-term back pain can be challenging for doctors to treat. However, it is possible to treat back pain without surgery, such as having spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and making lifestyle changes. Many people only find relief by trying a range of treatments and it’s always worth looking at alternatives if your current treatment isn’t working.

Low back pain is thought to affect 80% of adults at some point in their lives. The pain may develop suddenly as a result of a muscle strain caused by heavy lifting or an accident. Other times, conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or scoliosis can cause back pain.

Sometimes, and depending on the cause, doctors may recommend surgery to treat chronic back pain.

However, surgery is not always necessary. Other treatment options that can improve or relieve back pain include home remedies, alternative medicine, and lifestyle changes. A person may wish to try these options before deciding on surgery.

Back pain has many different causes and varies in severity. There is no single treatment that works for everyone.

A really useful article on the Medical News Today website explores the evidence behind 11 nonsurgical treatments for back pain – Read Article

SOCIAL: Copley Lunch Club

Disability Partnership Calderdale is partnering up with Calderdale Council and Stonewater housing to run a new series of Luncheon Clubs in Copley, aimed at anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned lunch club.

The first was held on 5 July and was a great success, with a lively mix of music, quiz, a movement session and, of course, a great lunch.

  • Dates: 2 August, 6 September, 4 October (First Friday of the month)
  • Time: 11am – 1.30pm
  • Venue: Copley Mill House, Copley Village, Halifax HX3 0UY
  • Booking: places are limited, so please pre-book a place by calling Robyn Allen at Copley Mill House on 07471 907 189

Everyone is welcome to these new Luncheon Club dates. Each will include a 2-course lunch for just £3.99, plus a range of optional entertainments, including a quiz, music and light excercise.

WINTER: Prepare Your House Now

It may be summer at the moment, but this is actually a great time to prepare for winter.

As winter arrives, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll be switching on your central heating systems, maybe for the first time since the end of last winter?

To ensure you don’t have to make any unnecessary callouts to your home because the central heating isn’t working, please check the following before you make that call.

– The boiler is switched on at the electrical point.

– The time clock is switched on.

– Room thermostat is turned up.

– Thermostatic radiator valves are turned on.

– Gas credit is available.

– Boiler is switched on for heating and hot water.

It’s always a good idea to try your boiler a few weeks before the weather turns cold. Plumbers are usually available before the heating season starts and you’ll have the comfort of knowing the heating is in good repair. Should you need any help please call Calderdale’s affordable warmth team on 01422 392199 and see if you qualify for funding towards a boiler repair, service or replacement.

MONEY: Affordable Warmth

The Affordable Warmth team at Calderdale Council are there to help the more vulnerable members of the population of Calderdale, especially those in their own homes and private rented. To qualify for help from the team you must meet certain criteria, including having an combined earnings/benefits income of less than £21,000 per year and less than £16,000 in bank.

What’s available?

· Attic Insulation. Applicable for both private rented (PR) & Owner Occupier (OO) Lofts MUST be cleared before survey & installation; contractors are not covered to move client’s possessions. Insulation should be at least 27cm thick!

· Cavity Wall insulation. Applicable for both (PR) (OO). Not applicable for Solid wall, rubble filled properties or property with wall ties. Insulation with either fibre or polybead is available. A surveyor will ensure that the correct type is matched to the property. Maximum funding £1000. If work exceeds the grant, affordable interest free grants are available.

· Service or repair boiler, including gas fires. (OO) – Using our accredited Plumbers. THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY SERVICE. Grant upto £500.

· Upgrading Boiler/heating System. (OO) – Using our accredited Plumbers. Upto £500 towards new system.

· Fit modern timer/Thermostat control. (OO) – Using our accredited Plumbers. Upto £500 towards new controls.

· Apply for Warmth On Prescription. Applicable for both (PR) & (OO). We offer 50% funding towards replacement/new boiler/central heating systems. Interest free loans are available to fund the balance. This scheme is available for people or family member in the house with long term health conditions. A letter from Health professional is required.

‘Mr / Mrs (insert surname) of (insert address) has long term or chronic health condition(s) that are made significantly worse by living in a cold home. We therefore endorse their application for the council’s warmth on prescription scheme for heating and insulation works which will make their home warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat.’

· Switch your energy provider for a cheaper deal. Before shopping around, have the following details to hand; your last energy bill which has your customer number, your estimated yearly usage/costs. Remember, it is a billing exercise only, all gas & all electricity comes through the same pipes & wires. Put the money in your pocket, not their wallet.

· Fit a smart meter. Real time energy use. Reduces estimated billing. What’s causing those energy spikes?

· Fit draught proofing to wooden windows & doors. Applicable for both (PR) & (OO) Small grants are available to install draughtproofing which is undertaken by our Handyperson service.

· Claim Additional funding. If you or a member of your family have a long term health condition request to be put on the PRIORITY SERVICE REGISTER. You will be asked questions of the nature of the request. These details are to help you. Ask to be put forward for the “Warm Home Discount”. It must be applied for. However, be aware that once the pot of money is used, then there is no legal obligation for the energy company to give it to you. You could be receiving an extra £140 off your next winter bill.

Who to contact – Please check with affordable warmth team for up to date information – – 01422 393200 – 01422 392407

Affordable Warmth Referral Form