I enjoyed a most pleasant walk with some friends recently, around the villages of Fulneck and Tong, south of Bradford. It's an area my friends know well as they lived there for many years, but despite it being only a few miles from here, I have only had a walk there a couple of times.
Fulneck, where we started, is technically in Leeds. It was founded in 1744 by a group of settlers from the Moravian church, descendants of the old Bohemian/Czech Unity of the Brethren. Housing and a school were built, as well as a chapel. The school continues as an independent day and boarding school for students and has taken over many of the buildings in the settlement, so that really Fulneck is now all about the school. The chapel, seen here with the clock tower, is a Grade 1 listed building.
Fulneck lies on the side of a pretty valley, through which runs Pudsey Beck. The historic village of Tong is on the opposite side. You can just see Tong Hall among the trees on the horizon, in the picture above. The whole area is subject to a planning battle at the moment, with developers wanting to build thousands of new homes in this area, which is at present designated 'green belt'. 'Green belts' were set up in the 1950s to protect green spaces and prevent urban areas sprawling out to swallow them up. With an urgent need for new housing, there is pressure on local councils to waive the rules.
The walk was circular and the village of Tong was a pleasant stop-off point half-way. There is an excellent tea-room, Goodalls, selling their own farm-made ice-cream. Cinder toffee flavour is to die for!! There's also a pretty cricket field; a very English scene, with cricket and the village pump.