Just a couple of footsteps along Meltham Footpath 21 and away from Huddersfield Road transports the walker into a typically English green space. A tall holly hedge full of blackbirds, butterflies amongst the uncut grass, the sound of running water from a hidden beck and shady woodland ahead.
These places are all the more valuable because of their closeness to centres of population. And they are all the more vulnerable because of that proximity and access to the roads,motorways and industry that goes with it.
I see the public footpath, hedge , beck and open space as having a value beyond money. By putting one foot in front of the other we can all benefit from these places both physically and mentally. In an increasingly angry, distressed,obese and diabetic society this stock exchange of the countryside can only rise.
The current speculative planning application to potentially build on this land is likely to lead to the loss of Meltham Footpath 21 and it’s green open space. In the greater scheme of things this is not the end of the world but look around and you will see many public green corners like this going under the bulldozer. Just a few fields walk away Meltham Footpath 26 has disappeared beneath a building site.
Will this be the fate of Meltham Footpath 21?
Comments on the application are open until 14th July 2017.