The site has been used variously as part of water treatment works since the early 1800’s. The majority of the land was used as ‘settling beds’ for the final stage of sewage treatment until around the 1960’s, and then no longer used.
The Rochdale Canal Trust bought half the site in 1991 to use for dumping dredged canal material, which accounts for the raised area to the east of the site. This is when the Japanese Knotweed got into the site.
The western side of the site was slowly in-filled by Yorkshire Water over the years, and then all the saplings were planted in 2001 after the modernisation of the sewage works and erection of the steel fence.
Calderdale Council used the area that is now our car park as a plant nursery and storage depot between the 1950’s and the 70’s.
From the mid 90’s the whole site was essentially left to become a wilderness.
How the growing project has evolved
From 2006, founding members became interested in trying to develop the site for a canal boat marina. When this proved financially unrealistic, it seemed a better use was to try and acquire the land for vegetable growing or allotments.
A small group of local people became involved in developing this idea and it has slowly but surely evolved to the current situation.
Since 2014 Redacre has been a limited company (Redacre Growing Project Ltd Company no. 06957296) run on co-operative principles.
Following financial support and guidance from Pennine Leader, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Hebden Royd Town Council, the Community Foundation For Calderdale and UNltd, we are proud to have accomplished the following:
- 24 full allotment plots
- 39 raised beds
- communal orchard and fruit bushes
- fenced chicken area, managed by a cooperative group
- fenced beehives area, run by our local bee group
- wildlife pond
- communal timber framed eco-roundhouse, built by local people through workshops in green building techniques
- 2 communally run poly tunnels
- disabled persons’ parking area
- hazel copse
- traditionally built pizza oven
- two sizeable community composting areas
- a group of Redacre friends who pay a nomimal fee for sharing in the communal facilities
- school wildlife garden, planted by the children of Cragg Vale School.