I was sitting staring at my laptop thinking this afternoon about what I should write for my first blog entry. Various thoughts whirled through my mind. I could write about my travels, my work, the children, each of which would have a link to the Pennines. But I want to tell you more about the area, the people and what it’s like to live here. This blog is more about how the Pennines intertwine with our daily lives.
So, there I was, thinking hard, when it came to me. A friend was telling me the other day about going fishing to a lake near where they live. That got me thinking of how I take for granted my drive past a lake every morning and night going to and fro from work. The view is constantly varied, sometimes so peaceful and tranquil and yet on a grey windy morning it looks more like the Atlantic. I am lucky to have such a magnificent view to look at each day. The lake road is the road most people take in the morning to get to the motorway especially when there are only two roads to choose from to get out of our village.
We are pretty lucky in Britain. A trip to the coast never seems that far away, only a couple of hours drive. But if you feel a little landlocked as a resident in the Pennines there are plenty of waterfront areas to visit.
In the north of the Pennines we have the Lake District which is internationally recognised as a place of natural beauty. The national park is preparing for world heritage status on the basis that it is of outstanding universal value because it has inspired developments in the way that the world views, values and conserves landscape.
But what of the little lakes and reservoirs that are dotted around? Many of these are still areas of beauty albeit man-made. They provide pleasure to thousands of people, homes to wildlife and mini economies in rural areas.
Hollingworth Lake is one such place that has been a firm favourite for over 200 years. It covers 130 acres and was completed in 1803 to supply the Rochdale Canal’s lock system. It was a boom period for canals since they offered an easier way of transporting goods for the mill owners and businesses. Inland canals preceded the railways and had an important part to play in the early stages of the industrial revolution.
The lake sits above the small town, although some like to think of it as a village, of Littleborough which is situated in the South Pennines. These days the lake has a nature reserve and a water sports centre and is a firm favourite for local people who want to walk the dog and the children while getting a little exercise themselves. At weekends it attracts visitors from far and wide.
So, I guess the lake I see every working day is a still favourite with me.