This arrived today, in response to Jessica’s very negative reply to my suggestion for a welcome pack for new residents:

David, we’d like all to know Rachele and I love your ideas regarding an introduction letter/leaflet. It took me a while to get familiar with Warland when I moved here. I would have valued a letter or leaflet, it would have been good to know others were around in a friendly and supportive way. This place is idiosyncratic and we have faced some issues which may not be known to those moving in. I think it would be good for those moving in to know a few things about Warland, e.g.

1) the lane can link up with the reservoir overflow channel to form a destructive stream, that we need to ensure the reservoir owners fulfil their responsibilities which they are so keen to wriggle out of.

2) That Warland is now in essence surrounded by a forest garden and emerging woodland to replace the woods felled years ago. This means the land here is valuable and must be protected, especially from the unnecessary, destructive and expensive burns practiced nearby (it costs thousands of pounds to have fire engines called out for the burns and means less engines and fire people are available for emergencies).

3) That there are many other ways in which you and Monica, as custodians or Warland Farm, are assisting the sustainable management of land in the area, with support of many organisations, and have already gained (and wish to gain further) support from within and outside Warland. We feel you will have a significant and growing role in local educational projects with many benefits for this and the wider community.

3) That there is an ongoing risk of inappropriate development (with and without planning application) – e.g. The old mill which is soon to have new owners – (what about a collective buy-out of this to prevent future development).

4) That the lane is not a right of access for non-residents, and than heavy farm vehicles are especially problematic. That those owning land adjacent to the lane have some rights and responsibilities towards it.

5) That we have a unique and protected wetland habitat between canal and road, but this needs to have a careful eye kept over it.

6) That the Rochdale Road is an accident blackspot due to the central death lane, excessive speeding, reckless overtaking on the blind bend, refusal of Calderdale council to apply traffic calming measures despite deaths and injuries, that we need a pedestrian crossing to help us get safely to the bus stop.

We feel that the destruction of community is one of the reasons for much of the country’s malaise. Problems like social isolation, poor emotional and physical well-being and ability to work with shared needs and values could all be better addressed if we were able to develop more coherent and active communities. We don’t expect a leaflet to solve all of this though, but most important things start with a seed and grow with nurturance.

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