For many people the image of “the North” is still one of dark satanic mills, grim people in flat caps and scenery somewhat akin to Dante’s inferno (try reading Stuart Maconies “Pies and Prejudice” for a take on the north / south divide).
However, when you travel just a few miles outside many major northern town and cities you often encounter scenery of unbelievable beauty.
This morning I travelled to Ogden Water, which, is a wildlife reservoir, located 4 miles North of Halifax, on the A629 Keighley Road.
There are walks around the reservoir and a tremendous amount of wildlife to be seen, particularly birds. On my walk today I saw blue tits, chaffinches, terns, ducks and even a cormorant (it must have turned right at Blackpool instead of left!).
As I made my way around the reservoir I looked across at the myriad shades of the trees and it just reminded me of the opening shots to the film Dead Poets Society which was shot in New England in the fall (or as we call it here, autumn).
We have been fortunate this year that we have had no real storms to denude the trees and so in the middle of November we are able to enjoy the trees in all their autumn glory.
So next time someone says “ee, its grim up North” then I will show them that we do indeed have wonderful countryside, staggering scenery and a warmth and openness that we offer to all visitors to our “fair and pleasant” land.
And please bear in mind that this homage is being written by a Lancastrian about the deadly rival white rose county!