Latest news!

At its December meeting the Council
agreed to increase school grants from
£500 maximum to £1000 from next April.


           Skelmanthorpe Heritage Textile Centre - Open second Sunday of every month from 10.30 til 12.30


 The Kirkburton/Denby Dale link to the TransPennine Trail

Paula Sherriff MP opens the improved Kirkburton/Denby Dale link to the TPT

Saturday July 8th, 11am.


                                                              Bank Lane                                                                Long Lane

Cllr Richard Brook, secretary of Denby Dale Walkers are Welcome Group, writes….
        The Coast to Coast Trans Pennine Trail (see is a huge asset to the North of England and we were delighted when, in 2011, EPIP (see was able to fund a new extension to the TPT from Kirkburton & Denby Dale. This Kirkburton/Denby Dale link comprises both an on-road & an off-road route.

This year Denby Dale Walkers are Welcome group successfully applied for further funding, via EPIP, from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to effect much-needed improvements to 2 sections of bridleway on the off-road route – on Bank Lane bridleway (leading from Barnsley Road, Denby Dale towards Upper Denby) and on Long Lane (leading from Thunderbridge towards Shepley). Match funding for the project and a short-term loan were secured from the Rural District Committee of Kirklees Council, to whom we are very grateful.
        The work, undertaken by local contractors, was completed in early June and we are very pleased with the result.



Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations Beacon Event

Chairman Cllr John Cook was pleased to be invited by Emley Millennium Green Trust to light the Beacon to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday, as part of a chain of beacons to be lit across the country.

The volunteer PCSOs and their Senior all commented what a lovely event it was to attend. They made a great impression on the public - one little boy wanted to sign up that night for the Police force!

The weather was very kind and made for some wonderful photographs against the setting sun, highlighting the Beacon with the Arqiva Tower in the background. With a temporary adjacent mast due to be built alongside the existing structure the photographs will add to the uniqueness of the evening. We will try to get some photographs of the new 'little sister' mast being constructed in future Newsletters.

                                            Chairman Cllr John Cook opening the ceremony

A square of Denby Dale

This Denby Dale square is part of the national Walkers are Welcome quilt.
It is a fabric collage of a typical but imagined landscape of our area with moorlands, hills, river valleys & drystone walls. Within the landscape are weavers cottages, Denby Dale viaduct, Emley Moor mast, a packhorse bridge as at Clayton West & a cluster of mill cottages.
Sheep are grazing in the river valley – the two blackbirds are NOT among the ingredients of the famous Denby Dale pies, despite the nursery rhyme!
The collage was made by a group of crafty ladies who meet every week in Denby Dale. Various fabrics and methods were used, including a piece of Huddersfield worsted suiting that was used for the moors. The fabric for the sky was hand dyed, the tree was made by wet felting, highlights were needle-felted and the sheep were knitted.

Anniversary of Dunblane Tragedy.

Twenty years ago, the residents of Dunblane asked people to remember their murdered children, and their teacher, by planting trees. Local residents and businesses donated trees, and volunteers, many of them parents of similar-aged children, planted them in the grounds of Gilthwaites First School. To mark the twentieth anniversary, governors at the school agreed to the erection of a plaque, recently unveiled in the presence of teachers, pupils and several of our parish councillors. Cllr Neil Denby is pictured with a group of the children.

Charter of the Forest

In summer 2015 the Woodland Trust put out an invitation for organisations from across the conservation, environmental, business and social sectors to join a call for a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People. This charter would bring trees and woods back into the centre of public consciousness and political decision-making in the UK. More than 40 organisations answered the call, and have been working with the Woodland Trust to create a national moment for woods and trees. The ambition is to put trees back at the heart of our lives, communities and decision making - where they belong.

The Charter will be launched in November 2017; the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest. In 1217, two years after the Magna Carta was sealed by King John (and annulled two months later), his heir Henry III accepted the Charter of the Forest. The aim of this document was to protect the rights of people to access and use the Royal Forests, which Norman rulers were increasingly restricting. The Charter of the Forest provides a window to a time in history when access to woods was integral to life. It has never been annulled.

I took up the invitation to become a ‘Charter Champion’ and asked the Parish Council to approve the designation of Denby Dale Parish as a Charter Branch. This in no way affects the autonomy of any of the woodland and conservation groups in the area but, hopefully, provides a further source for project funding, to encourage volunteers and, via the Woodland Trust, a source of free trees and advice.

The Charter’s website is at and there are currently grants available to Charter Groups (application forms at You can also use the site to advertise your own events. Free multiple copies of ‘Leaf’, the magazine produced by the Woodland Trust and Common Ground, will be placed in the two parish libraries at Denby Dale and Skelmanthorpe. Leaf is also available online at

There are many established woodland and environmental groups in our area, along with the Denby Dale Parish Environment Trust, who I hope, will want to support the Charter. I also hope that the promotion of the Charter will become a key part of our new Countryside Officer’s duties.

Cllr Neil Denby

Click here for more information on local events.