Future to be decided for nature reserve

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.

Residents are being asked for their views on the future of the 100 acre Cromwell Bottom site between Brighouse and Elland.

In April, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet approved proposals to develop plans for the future of the area in consultation with local people.

Members supported the greater use of the site for outdoor recreation and education, whilst conserving the unique wildlife value of the nature reserve.

A series of consultation events and activities are planned over the summer to ensure as many people as possible can have their say.

Drop-in sessions will be taking place at Cromwell Bottom on July 4 and 23 , August 16 and September 12.

Local wildlife conservation groups, schools, businesses, local residents and users of the site will be contacted to make sure any development on the site provides the best outcome whilst remaining sympathetic to the unique environment of the area.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Skills and the Environment, Councillor Jenny Lynn, said: “The Cromwell Bottom area has so much potential and we’d really like to hear what local people would like to see on the site.

“The area contains a rich diversity of habitats and wildlife, many found nowhere else in Calderdale. It’s important that as many people as possible have their say so we can ensure that we develop proposals to reflect the requirements of local people, whilst ensuring that the natural wildlife is protected.”

Ideas under consideration for Cromwell Bottom could include a new visitor centre with education facilities and outdoor teaching space, a café, new visitor trails, a hydro-generating scheme on the River Calder, environmental training facilities or space for small social enterprise business.

Local rights of way could be improved to provide walking and cycling routes to link Cromwell Bottom to surrounding housing areas and employment centres.

Consultation runs until the end of September, when the results will be published on the Council’s website.

A draft master plan will be drawn up, and further consultation will take place before the final plan is agreed in early 2016.