Yellow brick road... oh, OK, grey tarmac then...


Sometimes I start to feel a little confined, hemmed in on the floor of the Aire valley where I live, work and conduct much of my life.  Luckily, it doesn't take long to escape; a brisk up-hill walk on either side of the valley soon sees you crest a ridge and suddenly there's a marvellous view and a great feeling of space and light.  The north side of the valley takes you up on to Shipley Glen and Baildon Moor, a large area of which still feels satisfyingly 'wild' and natural (even though it has been shaped by man's activities for centuries).  The south side, rather more built up, nevertheless has a wonderful area of open parkland, thanks to a benefactor, Sir Norman Rae, who gifted the land to Shipley Council in 1920 for the benefit of the community.  I always enjoy walking through this avenue of trees.  Even though I know exactly where it goes, I still get a childish feeling of adventure, following a path that 'disappears' into the distance.