Mixenden Nature & History Trails

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As part of the community-led investment in Mixenden, Active Calderdale has recently funded two walking trails: a History Hike and a Wild Walk. These trails, co-designed with the community, will be installed in the Hebble Brook woodlands by Summer 2024.

Co-Created Spaces

Nature Nurture CIC is a social enterprise focused on connecting communities with green spaces. They co-created the Hebble Brook walking trails with residents, incorporating their feedback into the design.

Two Mixenden residents in particular, Dennis and Gillian, have been key in this process. Dennis, who runs the 'History of Mixenden' Facebook group, and Gillian, who manages the 'Mixenden Wildlife' group, used their knowledge to guide the content of the trails. This work included exploring the local library and a community engagement session, where residents had input into what was featured.  

Pupils from Ash Green Primary School have also participated, helping to clear paths and engaging with the trails. By involving local school children in the co-design process Nature Nurture hopes to spark a wider interest in the trails. The waymarked trails highlighting local nature and history should encourage engagement and help make the Hebble Brook a popular recreational walking route.

Look after the Brook

To prepare for the trails, monthly ‘Look After The Brook’ sessions were introduced in October 2023. These sessions, which included tree clearance and litter picking, have improved accessibility and safety in the woodlands. Up to 25 people have participated so far, and Mixenden resident Christine said, “Volunteering in my area is rewarding both mentally and physically. I recommend it to everyone.”

The aim was to involve as many people as possible so that everyone in Mixenden can enjoy these green spaces.

Outdoor Enrichment

During the Spring Term, a group from Ash Green Primary helped tidy Seed Hill Woods, collecting a phenomenal amount of rubbish and later participating in a nature walk and bug hunt. This was part of the 'Outdoor Enrichment' sessions run by the school for pupils aged 6 to 11 and their enthusiasm for the project has been incredible.

The school feels that it is very important that the children become actively involved with activities such as this - which help improve their local environment. This not only enriches the local area it also enriches the lives of the active participants, and it is the type of school activity that will always be remembered by these children.

Peter Halliday - Ash Green Primary School Teacher

Pupils also participated in the co-design process for the nature trail, voting on animals to include and recording audio for the trail at Phoenix Radio. This collaboration has enriched the children's learning and fostered a deeper connection to their local environment.

Other residents and representatives, including the local vicar and Calderdale College students, have also contributed their voices, bringing the trails to life. Visitors can listen to these tracks via QR codes, making the experience interactive and educational.

Have your say

Have you already walked the Hebble Brook trails or plan to do so soon? We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. E-mail your feedback and pictures to activecalderdale@calderdale.gov.uk.