Across the South Pennines there are 308 Scheduled Ancient Monuments Heritage and 6,024 Listed Buildings.

We work closely with a wide range of partners including Historic England, West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, Lancashire County Council, Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service, University of Bradford, University of Sheffield, University of York and Salford University to develop educational events, activities and opportunities to help local people and visitors to understand and enjoy the areas natural, historical and cultural heritage.

The Heritage services we provide includes; advice & desk-based assessments, field surveys, commercial and community excavations, public engagement, educational and out-reach programmes


Until recently woodlands in the South Pennines have received limited, or no historical or archaeological attention.

This is particularly surprising considering their character is intrinsically connected with human activity and interaction. This community-based three year project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Yorkshire Water, Newground

Together and the Green Bank Trust, with support from the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at University of Bradford, aimed to go some way to correct this. From 2016 onwards, over 400 people took part in archaeological investigations and a further 3,000 children from early years to secondary age enjoyed forest schools.

As well as instilling new skills and a sense of ownership and care for these treescapes, almost 1,000 new sites of archaeological significance were recorded, revealing human activity from prehistory through to the second world war.

They included Bronze Age hut circles, Roman roads, medieval deer park boundaries, post-medieval farmstead sites, industrial mill sites and first world war practice trenches.

Find out more



Our aim is to develop a strategic approach to protecting and enhancing the natural environment of the South Pennines Park and maximising the economic and social benefits provided by the area’s natural assets in the interests of everyone.

Pennine Prospects achieved Local Nature Partnership (LNR) status for the South Pennines in 2012. It is one of 50 such partnerships across England set-up following the Government’s 2011 White Paper on the Natural Environment. Its designation underlines the value and importance of our landscape and its habitats, helping to raise the profile of the South Pennines in local decision-making. The lack of a single administrative unit across this area means that a partnership approach is the only way to co-ordinate action, whether to respond to pressures on the landscape or take advantage of opportunities and benefits it presents.

The South Pennines is also vital for surrounding urban areas, providing them with ‘ecosystem services’ such as good quality drinking water, carbon storage and mitigation of flood risk. We will continue to make the case for the economic benefits of protecting biodiversity and ecosystems and promoting a thriving green economy.


Upland fires have a devastating effect on our peatlands. They destroy vegetation and habitats, and damage the peat itself, which degrades its ability to act as a carbon sink, mitigating the effects of climate change.

But often overlooked is the impact fires have on known and as yet undiscovered archaeological and historical features. The peat itself is a record of the South Pennines, giving indications of environmental conditions going back to at least the Bronze Age (2500-750BCE). Evidence for Mesolithic hunter-gather communities also survives on Rivington Moor and Holcombe Moor in Lancashire and on Marsden Moor and Midgley Moor in West Yorkshire. Signs of a later Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement can be found on Ilkley Moor.

These sites are irreplaceable, between 2018 and 2020 there have been eight large wildfires in the South Pennines so The South Pennine Park works with / leads XXX South Pennines Wildfire Heritage Group works to:

Enhance the understanding of the historic development of the South Pennines, assessing the condition of archaeological features and make management recommendations. We contribute towards the planning of future peatland regeneration projects and involve the general public and schools to raise awareness of the importance of archaeological features and the threats to their survival.


The South Pennines Park is a partner in the Moors for the Future project. The partnership is delivering MoorLIFE 2020, an ambitious five-year €16 million initiative to protect extensive areas of internationally important blanket bog and bring life back to the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation. Funded by the EU LIFE programme and co-financed by Severn Trent,

Yorkshire Water and United Utilities, the condition of nearly 100 square kilometres of active blanket bog is being improved.

Work involves stabilising and re-vegetating bare peat, installing mini-dams in drainage channels to re-wet blanket bog, planting sphagnum moss, controlling invasive species like rhododendron and working with land managers to share best practice.

This ambitious scheme is also raising awareness of the importance of bogs though an active outreach programme and contributing new research on this fragile yet vital habitat.



People make a place. The South Pennines should be a space for everyone and our aim is to promote social inclusion and maximise opportunities for people to benefit from the area, enhancing the sustainability, health and well-being of South Pennine communities.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the region and the communities in and around the Park and as identified by Environment Secretary George Eustice in  his vision for a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic: 20 July 2020, ‘Studies across the spectrum, from health to financial risk, remind us that it is in our best interests to look after nature. We know that a connection with nature contributes to well-being, and improved mental health.’

The South Pennine Park is ideally placed with our networks and partnerships, to lead on a programmes that utilises the Park, its towpaths, urban green spaces, rights of way and cycle routes and more for social and green prescribing.


Home to internationally important wildlife and with amazing opportunities to wander, cycle, climb, or just sit and stare, the South Pennines is wild and wonderful country.

However it is not well used by everyone, especially young people from surrounding towns and cities. So the South Pennines Park has developed strategic partnerships with Calderdale College, Northern Rail and the Canal & River Trust to deliver programmes to connect with this important segment of the population.

Ongoing projects include How Healthy is IT, aimed at engaging 16-25 year olds to be more active in the South Pennines Park, utilising the IT tools and technology they are most comfortable with. And work is also being underway with Born in Bradford to link with communities in and around Bradford and Keighley who have the park on their doorstep.


The South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival is a major celebration of the great outdoors that evolved out of the country’s first ever walking festival, held in Calderdale in 1996.

Since then it has expanded to include over 100 brilliant opportunities to explore the South Pennines by foot, wheel or even pack horse. More than 6,000 people take part, showcase the region and resulting in significant health and well-being benefits.

The South Pennines Trust will continue to develop the event so be sure to look out for the next festival in September 2021.


This colourful celebration of our uplands took off – quite literally!

Working in partnership with Yorkshire Water, the River & Canal Trust and art charities, it aims to engage hard to reach communities and encourage them to take advantage of the landscape on their doorstep.

Kite making and community engagement workshops were held across Calderdale, Bradford and Kirklees, culminating in the Fly! Festival finale on Hunter Hill at Mixenden, where scores of colourful kites were lifted aloft on a breeze.

Over 8,000 people enjoyed this event together with local mini FLY! sessions.



Our aim is to support sustainable economic growth in sectors that draw on the unique characteristics of the South Pennines Park.

We will do this by continuing to build close working relationships with key economic players, including the park’s 15 local authorities, three Local Enterprise Partnerships (Leeds City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire), along with landowners and stakeholders. Together we will develop projects to drive socio-economic opportunities.

South Pennine LEADER project 2015 – 2020

Designed to support local businesses, the South Pennines LEADER programme was led by Pennine Prospects and allocated grants of over £1.4m.

They were targeted at micro and small enterprises to support farm productivity and diversification, rural tourism, rural services, cultural and heritage activity and the forestry sector. The scheme attracted a further £3.6m, mainly from the private sector, giving a total investment into the South Pennines of just under £5m. Over 50 new jobs were created. Discover more at


The South Pennines is one of Britain’s most distinctive areas.

There’s also a growing interest from visitors in all things “local”. They want to understand more about the places they visit, experience them in different ways, meet “real” people and buy locally made products.

This project aimed to tap into this by working with small tourism enterprises to produce bespoke marketing materials, a Local Distinctiveness Handbook and create business training opportunities. Ultimately the goal is to attract more visitors, encourage them to stay longer and make the best of the amazing diversity and character of the South Pennines – a place like no other.

Instagram did not return a 200.