A Google-eye View

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Wednesday, 27th August 2008


previous | home page | this month| e-mail me | next

West Yorkshire lies in the centre of this view of the north of England, extending south-west of Leeds towards Manchester.

The woods of Coxley Valley; we live at the northern end.

TODAY I’M DRAWING a map for my walks booklet but, in the mean time, as that won’t be in print until mid-autumn, here’s a Google-map view of Wild West Yorkshire. Embedding Google-maps is something that I haven’t attempted before, so I hope it works for you!


This section of the Calder Valley (above) means a lot to me because it was where I wandered with my friends as a schoolboy and, when I started at art college, after a 9 til 5 day in the studio in a tower block in the centre of Leeds, I’d come back home, have a bite to eat, and then set off into the valley with my sketchbook.


As you can see, there’s plenty of opportunity for the fledgling natural history illustrator; marsh, river, farmland and strips of woodland. In the early 1970s, an old colliery spoil heap (in the lower left) added to the diversity of habitats. Using the canal towpath and a riverside footpath I would make a circular tour in an hour or so, pausing to sketch anything that took my interest.


In the spring of 2004 a pair of storks attempted to nest on a power-line pole by the canal (centre left by bridge), the first record for over 500 years. But, long before that, to me, this home patch was a very special place.

previous | home page | this month| e-mail me | next