The landscape around us is continually changing. These changes are part of a long history of human influence on our surroundings. To bring to life what this means for the constant evolution of West Yorkshire’s landscape, West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service have recently published a Historic Landscape Characterisation Report for each district in West Yorkshire.
Charting the changes to land use from 1066 to the present day for Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, it is clear to see how changes in society influence the regions landscape. Across all districts it is evident how industry and communications have attracted residential development. Our leisure habits also shape our environment, which is illustrated by the rise in out-of-town retail outlets and the continued presence of recreational parkland.
A number of short animated videos have been released as part of the project so that any resident of West Yorkshire is able to easily visualise the changes around them. Ian Sanderson, Head of West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Services, speaks of the Historic Landscape characterisation project:
The Historic Landscape Characterisation project for West Yorkshire helps us to appreciate the evolution of the landscape that surrounds us. Through understanding the past, informed decisions can be made on future changes to help ensure that areas in the region retain their local distinctiveness
To see how the districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield have evolved since 1066 click here to view the short animated videos for each area.