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Seeing West Yorkshire

‘Seeing West Yorkshire’ was a two-year project designed to connect with local people around West Yorkshire to hear their stories about the countryside. We met some amazing individuals and groups, whose relationship with West Yorkshire is fascinating.

We gathered these stories into four Ways of Seeing West Yorkshire online magazines – which you can read using the links below. These magazines are designed to celebrate the wealth and variety of ways in which the countryside around us is appreciated.

The timing of this project coincided with the Lockdowns across the country due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

We found that many people discovered a new or different relationship with the countryside around them during the pandemic. Our relationship and connection with the land, nature and the importance of access to open green spaces have been highlighted. We hope that some of the stories you can read in our magazines will inspire reflection, optimism and a sense of adventure about our wonderful local landscapes.

Using these stories and experiences to inform our thinking, we have developed a document asking seven ‘what if’ questions that will inform CPRE West Yorkshire in championing a truly 21st Century future for the West Yorkshire countryside.



Ways of Seeing Issue #4 was started before lockdown and completed through the lens of these most exceptional times. The Spring edition explores our relationship with the earth, the land beneath our feet, and what it is to feel grounded in our landscape.

We hear from a farmer of the West Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle and a hill farmer about the opportunities and challenges that they face. We chat to a curator at the Hepworth, Wakefield, about the cultural landscape of West Yorkshire and meet a member of the Friends of Ilkley Moor. Also, we explore what is happening at a brand new community farm in Kirkstall Valley and reflect on what the future might hold.

There are some great stories in this issue celebrating the sights and sounds of Spring and a bit of West Yorkshire grit.

We hope that you enjoy the issue. Please do share it with your family and friends.

Ways of Seeing - Issue #4

The third issue of our ‘Ways of Seeing’ Magazine is a bumper edition, fit for the winter months. We have a fantastic range of contributors. They include Dr Norah McWilliam writing about the Queensbury Tunnel, a look at the landscape of West Yorkshire by artist Nancy Stedman. Lina Wood gazes at the stars and Dan Lister (Fellow of the Society of Light and Lighting) explains the importance of considered lighting solutions, so that Lina will be able to see the stars in the future. Peter Newton shares his experience of running in the landscape, Anna Gugan who works at the United Bank of Carbon gives us an insight into her work around trees and natural capital and Graeme Tiffany tells us a bit about Community Philosophy and how walking and talking can create a sense of solidarity. Phew!

We hope you enjoy this issue, please share it with your family and friends.

Ways of Seeing - Issue #3

The second issue of our ‘Ways of Seeing’ Magazine. We are delighted to include articles from a great variety of contributors, including River Holme Connections, who are leading the way in improving the quality, access and understanding of the Holme River and its tributaries. Paul Knights weaves a rich tapestry out of the West Yorkshire Landscape, exploring past, present, and future land uses. Harriet Thew is a PhD Researcher at the Priestly Centre in Leeds and studies the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and how young people can engage with this process. Marc Yeats is an internationally renowned contemporary classical music composer – and through his article, we not only see but start to hear the landscapes of West Yorkshire. Our trustee Marion also takes us for a walk through Bronte Country.

We hope you enjoy the issue and hearing about new ways of seeing West Yorkshire. Please share it with your family and friends.

Ways of Seeing - Issue #2
Ways of Seeing Front Cover Issue 1

We are pleased to announce the publication of our first online Ways of Seeing magazine. This brings some of the stories that we have been hearing together to celebrate our countryside.

This issue includes a fantastic mix of viewpoints. We explore the essence of West Yorkshire through a camera lens, we hear about researching earthworms at the University of Leeds, have a glimpse behind the scenes of filming Gentleman Jack, take a dip in Gaddings Dam, find out about making sausages a local business and confront some sculpture in the landscape.

We hope that you enjoy it and that it illustrates how wide and varied our experiences of the West Yorkshire landscape can be – and how we can celebrate it together by sharing our stories.

Ways of Seeing - Issue #1