Upper Calder Valley environmental groups, organisations & businesses

This Directory has three main sections:

  • Businesses and community groups
  • Campaigning groups
  • Local government – Calderdale Council, Hebden Royd Town Council and other parish councils



Upper Calderdale Wildlife Network aims to protect bio-diversity and is open to all wildlife enthusiasts. They meet on the first Monday of the month at 7.30 p.m. in a Todmorden Pub. For info, contact Portia Fincham, on 01706-812480 (info reposted from Calderdale Council website)


A variety of groups, organisations and businesses can help with reducing buildings’ carbon emissions and increasing their resource efficiency and energy efficiency.

Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre’s Sustainable Schools project (SUSchool) offers energy and water audits in schools as well as other advice on reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

Mytholmroyd Builders Merchant Ltd supplies all kinds of building materials and promoted green building materials some time ago.

Energy Help – environmental consultancy for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Resource efficient and energy efficient new builds

Calder Valley Community Land Trust

Calder Valley Community Land Trust Ltd is a community benefit society in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Established in September 2014, their focus is on community-led affordable housing initiatives in Upper Calder Valley valley. They also hold land and buildings on behalf of the community.

CVCLT actively strives to reduce its carbon foot print and improve the local environment. Climate change, fuel poverty, public health, flood resilience and environmental stewardship are the main drivers behind this commitment. Their website is here.

Straw Works designs and plans durable residential and commercial buildings using straw bales and natural materials. They have built over 300 buildings in the UK and Europe, including durable residential and commercial buildings using straw bales and natural materials. They also run training courses and provide services for self-builders and contractors. Straw Works are based in Tod.

Energy efficiency retrofits

Home energy efficiency retrofits grants that used to be available have been cut by the Coalition government’s comprehensive spending review. It might still be worth contacting Calderdale MBC Housing Energy Action Team (HEAT) to see if there is anything they can recommend or help with. Contact HEAT on Tel: 0845 245 6000, or email heat@calderdale.gov.uk. Otherwise it seems to be all about the Green Deal and related Energy Company Obligation grants.

Domestic energy efficiency advice

Cragg Vale Carbon Neutral informs all Cragg Vale households via the Community Association Newsletter. It has carried out baseline carbon footprinting, sending questionnaires to all households.

Blackshaw Environmental Action Team

Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre.

Eco-tourism accommodation

HB Woodcraft Folk’s Height Gate Camping Barn and the National Trust’s attraction, Gibson MIll in Hardcastle Crags both use biomass heating and  eco sanitation.


Blackshawhead Community Orchard

Calder Food Hub  – a community interest company promoting local food.It organises Seedy Saturday plant and seed swaps, provides local produce boards in Hebden shops and helps network local food producers with local retailers and local customers.

Growing Futures

Membership of Growing Futures (formerly known as  IncredibleEdible Mytholm) is free and open to anyone living in the Upper Calder Valley who supports its aim. This is to set up a community-owned, not-for-profit business that will buy the Mytholm Works site.

Since pausing for bit of a pause for thought in 2014, as a result of Calderdale Planning Committee’s approval in December 2013 of a planning application for a hotel and supermarket on the site, Growing Futures resumed activities in the summer 2015.  Despite coming with costly and probably impossible planning conditions, the planning application approval has whacked up the price of the site. However communications from the 2 different site owners say that they are still open to offers and last time Growing Futures asked, there were no offers from supermarkets or hotels.

Growing Futures is now investigating the possibility of applying for outline planning permission for  a community-owned, not-for-profit business to run the Green Food Adventures agro-ecology growing scheme and experimental farm on the site along with a managed workspace for innovative, cradle to cradle manufacturing and services, sustainable food training and education,  a veg tourism attraction and eco-hotel.

Growing Futures is also working towards helping to create a fair affordable sustainable food system in Calderdale

Please email the Growing Futures Secretary if you would like to become a member or supporter of the Growing Futures unincorporated association. You can read the Growing Futures Constitution here.

See the Growing Futures blog for news and updates….

Hebden Bridge Farmers’ Market

Incredible Edible Calderdale

Salem permaculture allotments

New allotments for Dodd Naze a sign outside Hebden Royd Town Hall says there are still some available allotments (Sept 2014)

Blackshawhead Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Redacre Growing Project  Mytholmroyd’s organic community growing space.

photo credit: CLOG

Calder Local Orchard Group – voluntary group promoting sustainable fruit production, planting orchards, providing training, mapping and using existing orchards, research.

Calder Valley Organic Gardeners – longstanding group promoting organic gardening.

Little Valley Brewery  All beers certified by Soil Association

Mays Farm shop, Colden

photo credit: Nigel Lloyd

Valley Organics Workers’ Coop is at 31 Market Street, Hebden Bridge HX7 6EU
The shop is near the centre of the town, about ten minutes’ walk from Hebden Bridge station. They aim to:

  • provide good quality, ethically sourced organic produce that you can trust
  • promote healthy, raw ingredients
  • reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible
  • promote local food, support the local economy and reduce food miles
  • support producers who are changing food systems for the better
  • increase understanding of the issues around food production
  • pay ourselves a living wage
  • be a positive example of a workers’ co-op and support other local co-ops
  • develop and implement a clear ethical policy
  • bring some fun into buying food!

The Soup Dragon, an initiative of Hebden Bridge Transition Town Health group, is open on  Friday afternoons between 12 and 3 at Holme Street Arts centre (next to Hebden Bridge post office). Everyone is welcome to drop in and enjoy organic soup provided by Fern and Clive from the Nutclough and organic bread donated by Saka Bakery.  There are regular talks and workshops exploring mind, body and spiritual well being.


Tinderwood Trust photo

Calderdale Sustainability Forum Ltd  is a company based in Hebden Bridge. Its business is “Other Education not elsewhere classified.” It identifies itself as “the Local Agenda 21 body for Calderdale, incorporating Calder Future, and pushing forward the local strategies on climate change and recycling.” The Calderdale Sustainability Forum Ltd Chair is Anthony Rae. In 2011 Calderdale Sustainability Forum Ltd provided Calderdale MBC with miscellaneous services under the headings of Economy and Environment-Regeneration and Economy and Environment-Environmental Services. Calderdale Sustainability Ltd works closely with Calderdale Friends of the Earth.

Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre is “…an educational resource centre, we aim to make sustainability achievable and simply irresistible by working from a strong base within our local community to provide inspiration, accessible information and advice to improve the quality of life using sustainable means – economic, environmental and social.”

Tinderwood Trust Forest School “has been working in Calderdale for over five years growing out of a voluntary and community  group established by parents interested in playing and learning in less than traditional ways.

The group has been offering Forest School sessions to children and their families and carers, providing training and taster sessions for practitioners working within the EYFS, and offering consultancy on all aspects of creative outdoor play and learning and design of outdoor learning environments.” It also works with local primary schools and nurseries.

Treesponsibility Outdoor classroom  offers “…3 day environmental awareness residential courses with primary schools… The children help to create new woodland at various sites and take part in Forest School sessions in Hardcastle Crags,” as well as spending half a day in the Knott Wood outdoor classroom. Outdoor classroom also do one day woodland activity days, for activities like “habitat surveys, tree identification and nature walks, and building low rope bridges between trees.” See also The SOURCE (above, in Rivers and Flooding section).

IT Computer Repair, Re-use and Reconditioning

Dot com  “is Calderdale’s ONLY dedicated, not-for-profit provider of computer support services and solutions.”





Charity shops – Hebden Bridge has loads, full of a variety of great finds from books to furniture with clothes, kitchen ware, records, dvds and videos – you name it.

Recycled furniture shop on Hangingroyd Lane

Renewable Energy

Blackshawhead Environmental Action Team

Pennine Community Power, an offshoot of Blackshawhead Environmental Action Team, was awarded a grant to part-fund the construction of a wind turbine in Blackshawhead. After selling £28,000 of community shares, with a minimum investment of £250, PCP now has the wind turbine up and running.

Power from the Landscape  supports communities across the South Pennines to install microhydro on old mill sites. These will generate less than 100 KW of electricity and are ideal for community schemes. Power from the Landscape points out that there is no potential in Calderdale for large-scale hydro-electricity generation. At a recent Community with Energy event, Peter Hill of Power from the Landscape said, “If you developed every micro-hydro site in the Upper Calder Valley, you could get 2.5 mega watts – the same as one wind turbine.”

Ecoheat & Power Ltd   provide  solar power hot water and solar power electric systems, plus hybrid heating systems and biomass heating.

Ablefuels – Solid Fuel Sales and Stove Showroom at  Able Fuels Ltd, Lower Underbank, Halifax Road, Charlestown, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6PH. Tel: 01422 842284

Sells solid fuels, real fires, stoves, cookers (all for any fuel), chimneys, patio heatersand related products and services. Delivers coal, smokeless fuel, wood fuel and solid fuel.

Pennine Wind Turbines can supply, install and support a wind turbine to power community and local authority projects, farms, country estates, industrial units, rural domestic properties, offices, schools and many more applications across all the regions of England, Wales and Scotland.

LED Fantastic – workers’ co-op advising people on ultra-low-power lighting.

Rivers & Flood Alleviation

The SOURCE is a working partnership with a long term vision of ecological restoration in the headwaters of the River Calder.

It aims to:-

• Minimize flash flooding through appropriately-sited tree planting and moorland restoration
• Treat damaged land and control erosion
• Improve the quality of the River Calder
• Undertake educational activities and encourage volunteering so that people of all ages
and from all walks of life become aware of the value of our rivers and uplands.

Partners include Treesponsibility, The Calder and Colne Rivers Trust, The Upper Calder Valley Wildlife Network, Todmorden Moor Restoration Trust, Calder Futures, Calderdale MBC, The Environment Agency, Pennine Prospects and the White Rose Forest.

The Calder Future project is a partnership of organisations with responsibility for rivers within the Calder Valley. Calder Future is part of Calderdale Sustainability Forum Ltd (see below, under Education). The Calder Future partnership is:

      • British Waterways
      • Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
      • Calder Future Ltd
      • Calderdale Friends of the Earth
      • Environment Agency
      • Green Business Network
      • Halifax Canoe Club
      • Northern Naturefriends
      • Treesponsibility
      • Yorkshire Water


Bike and Go – electric bike hire from Hebden Bridge Station. Info here

Hour Car – a not-for-profit community car share and ride share scheme. One of their cars is an electric car.

Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre, electric bike hire, from 16 June.

Walking school buses –  a walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. Ask your school if they have a walking bus, there are some in the Upper Calder Valley but I can’t remember which.

WY Metrobuses take bikes (£1 charge).  After a lot of dire hooha with poor quality bus services, WY Metro has started a new contract with a different bus company and the new timetable for Hebden Bridge buses is here.

Friends of Hebden Bridge Station & Friends of Mytholmroyd Station – I’ll find links asap. Please come back to find them.

Cycle Recyle

 “A volunteer driven, not for profit project under the umbrella of the Alternative Technology Centre”

Based at  Unit 7, Victoria Works, Victoria Road Hebden Bridge HX7 8LN

“We aim to get more people out of their cars and onto the saddle, reducing the number of old bikes going to landfill and sharing our skills with other cyclists.”

info@cyclerecycle.org.uk – Tel: 01422 842121 – Open Monday – Friday 10 – 4

Mytholmroyd Walkers’ Action – a community group that aims to:

    • Encourage more walkers, walking more
    • Make sure public rights of way and footpaths stay open
    • Make walking more attractive to a wider range of residents
    • Encourage more visitors to make Mytholmroyd a walkers’ destination.
    • Encourage people to undertake more journeys by foot, rather than private car use.
    • Work with other partners/providers to promote walking for a healthy lifestyle.


Black Bark, a workers’ co-operative, set up with these aims:

    • To create local employment
    • To spread, maintain and develop skills
    • To encourage the use of natural local materials in construction and crafts
    • To educate people about the advantages of using natural local materials
    • To ensure that ‘economically viable’ woodlands are also ecologically viable
    • To do all this within the context of the local community – if woodlands, local natural materials and the skills that go with them are valued in our community, then they will have longevity and will help the community to be more robust in the face of future change and challenges.

Blackbark also runs the Firebox Scheme – “a seasoned firewood delivery scheme that encourages investment in sustainable and responsible woodland management. By joining the scheme you are providing a secure income for local woodland workers as they bring neglected woodlands back into production…You can invest as much as you want. For every £65 you will be guaranteed 1 cubic metre of seasoned hardwood logs. Firewood will be available for winter 2012/13.”

Friends of Nutclough Wood  have been managing the council-owned portion of the woods with the overall objective of improving the bio-diversity in and the public access to the site

Knott Wood Coppicers Ltd is a workers’ co-operative specialising in woodland management and tree planting.

Treesponsibility   The SOURCE project is working on the uplands close to the source of the River Calder, which are in a seriously degraded state, in order to:

            • Minimise flash flooding through appropriately sited tree-planting schemes.
            • Treat damaged land and control erosion.
            • Monitor invertebrates in the river and carry out habitat improvements.
            • Undertake educational activities and encourage volunteering so people of all ages and from all walks of life become aware of the value of our rivers and uplands.


Ban the Burn

Ban the Burn! is an ad hoc campaigning group which aims to reduce flooding in Hebden Water, by making sure that the degraded Walshaw Moor blanket bogs are restored to the point where they can hold large amounts of rainfall and slow the flow of water into the valley.

See Ban the Burn news for updates on the campaign.

Calderdale Friends of the Earth

Calderdale Friends of the Earth Together with Calderdale Sustainability Forum Ltd, Calderdale Friends of the Earth has persistently lobbied Calderdale Council to adopt a target of reducing the area’s carbon emissions by 40% from a 1990 base, by 2020. In 2012 Calderdale Council adopted this target in Calderdale’s Energy Future vision document.  Calderdale Friends of the Earth contact person is Anthony Rae.

Copley Valley Environmental Protection Group

Copley Valley Environmental Protection Group campaigns for the protection of Copley village and The Sowerby Bridge/Copley valley, particularly with the aim of promoting sustainable alternatives to the proposed Sowerby Bridge Copley Valley Regeneration Project.

Hebden Bridge Partnership is an umbrella group open to all Hebden Bridge community and not-for profit organisations. It aims to work together to develop and support projects that make the area of the five local parishes “a better place in which to invest, live, work, shop and enjoy leisure activities”. It was set up by Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Ltd. It calls itself the Town Team and meets regularly.

Transport Campaigning

Calderdale Passenger Consultative Committee – Upper Calder Valley member: Myra James. The Committee exists  to represent the views of users in relation to local public transport issues.

Calderdale 20’s Plenty 

20’s Plenty in Calderdale campaigns for 20 mph speed limits for residential roads, without speed bumps or other physical calming. Calderdale Council recently decided to implement 20s Plenty. For more info, contact 20’s Plenty for Calderdale Coordinator, Myra James, via Calderdale@20splentyforus.org.uk or 01422 845131.

Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Sustainable Transport Group

No current info available at the moment – will update soon, hopefully.


Business Advice about reducing carbon emissions

Calderdale Carbon Club has been set up by business members of Calderdale Energy Future Panel, to share ideas and best practice about reducing carbon emissions. Members can gain accreditation for making an Environmental Business Pledge about how they’re reducing their carbon emissions. Membership is open to any business with premises in Calderdale and is currently free (subject to review in October 2013). For information, email ebp@calderdale.gov.uk or call 01422 392250

Calderdale Energy Future Panel is a Calderdale Council “cross sector working group” that includes businesses and community groups as well as Councillors and Council officers. It’s supposed to steer the implementation of Calderdale Council’s Energy Future strategy. However there are no minutes on the website since August 2013, so who knows if it’s still functioning?

But there is a website about Calderdale’s Energy Future projects here .

Calderdale Council has also launched Business Growth Calderdale. Local businesses that are aspiring to grow, work towards environmental improvements, become more competitive or develop new products and services can get help from an EU-funded partnership of  Calderdale Council, Bradford University, Leeds Metropolitan University and Community Partnership Solutions Ltd. For more information about the scheme,  call 01422 392187 or email businessgrowth@calderdale.gov.uk

The Green Business Network, Calderdale & Kirklees provides environmental advice and support to local businesses  – although  their Business Advice webpage specifies that these services are only for Kirklees businesses, not Calderdale businesses.

It offers Landfill Community Grants to Calderdale community and environmental projects within 10 miles of landfill sites. “Projects MUST comply with the regulatory requirements of the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) known as the ‘EB Manual’. Details of the LCF can be found on the website of the Regulator. Except for schemes with historic buildings or biodiversity (addressing a priority species or habitat), all projects MUST relate to a single park or another amenity evidenced as being:

      • provided, maintained or improved for the protection and/or preservation of the environment (includes the natural, built and social environment).
      • “something that makes the environment more pleasant or comfortable and/or improves the aesthetic qualities of an area for the general public.”

Hebden Royd Town Council

Hebden Royd Town Council has these  Committees and delegated powers:

Hebden Royd Committees info here

Calderdale Council

The Council is composed of 51 Councillors. All meet together to decide the Council’s overall policies and to set the budget and Council Tax each year. The Council appoints the Leader and members of the Cabinet and also the membership of the various Scrutiny Panels and Committees.

Cabinet Meetings

The Cabinet is composed of the Council Leader and six Councillors appointed by the Council. The Cabinet has overall responsibility for the services which the Council provides  within the overall policies and budget agreed by the Council.

The Cabinet makes recommendations to the Council on major items of policy and on the annual budget and capital programme. The Council is responsible for considering and approving the Cabinet’s recommendations – or rejecting them.

The first half hour of each Cabinet session is open for public questions.  To ask a question, turn up about 5.50pm and fill in a form with your question. You will then ask it orally as well, in the Cabinet meeting. Here is more info from the Calderdale Council website.

Cabinet members info here. That link also includes info on Scrutiny Panels and their members.

Economy and Environment  Scrutiny Panel recommendation on the Green Deal

The Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel recommended to Cabinet in October 2011

“that they request Officers to develop a business case for Calderdale Council to become a Green Deal provider or assessor in order to maximise the potential both for income generation and the provision of independent impartial advice in the market place. Any income generated could then be re-invested in helping to further alleviate fuel poverty.”

I asked the Scrutiny Support Officer, Steve Barnbrook, for an update on whether Calderdale Council has applied to become a Green Deal provider or assessor, or is likely to. Steve replied,

” It is my understanding that…a number of officers have been developing proposals, but needed greater clarity from the Department of Energy and Climate Change about Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation. On 11th June the awaited details of secondary legislation were released by DECC. I believe that discussions are underway with other local authorities in the Leeds City Region about how best to progress…”

That was ages ago and in September 2014 the House of Commons Select Committee concluded that the Green Deal was not working, so I don’t know what the situation is with Calderdale Council’s plans to become a Green Deal assessor or provider.


To carry out the policies decided by the Councillors, Calderdale Council has four Directorates

            • Children & Young People
            • Communities
            • Economy and Environment
            • Adults, Health & Social Care.

Each Directorate contains various departments, staffed by Council Officers.

According to the Calderdale Forward website, there is a pretty humungous number of Council Strategies and Plans for the Directorates to keep on top of – including eight environment, housing and transport strategies and three economy strategies.

Calderdale Council partnership groups

Calderdale Forward is the Calderdale Council’s new partnership website. It seems to be the shop window for the new Calderdale Assembly and other Calderdale Partnership groups, including the Energy Future Panel and the Transport Working Group.

This is a bit of the information spaghetti that I’ve been able to spin onto my fork:

What is Calderdale Assembly?

The Calderdale Forward web page says,

“the Calderdale Assembly has been established to ensure engagement with a wide and inclusive range of stakeholders on the development and agreement of Calderdale’s high-level priorities. Meetings of the Assembly take place twice a year and usually follow a conference style format.”

Does anyone understand that first sentence? I don’t.

Please can the Council use clear, jargon-free English?

What do they mean by engagement? As far as I understand the word, it’s term used in customer relationship management/ marketing, which means “get people to buy your stuff”.

And “stakeholders” is a concept in management theory, which has somehow oozed into the public sector and pretty much everywhere else. Management-speak types apply this “one size fits all” word to anyone and everyone – managers, customers, employees, citizens, the public, voters. You see what’s happening here? The word glides over and erases different roles and interests, forestalling the expression of conflict or differences. So the default position becomes: We’re all in this together. Where did I hear that before?

So what does the Calderdale Forward web page really mean? I’m sure it doesn’t mean, “come and tell us you agree with our policies and will help us to carry them out.” But that’s more or less what it sounds like.

Info from Calderdale Council’s Partnership Support Team

To try and understand this Partnership thing better,  I’ve asked the Calderdale Council Partnership Support Team some questions, and have received some answers:

Q: Please would you let me know how “stakeholders” are chosen to attend the Calderdale Assembly, and the Environment Partnership?

A: The Calderdale Assembly met for the first time in November 2011 following a review of the partnership arrangements. Calderdale Forward Board members met for the last time in June 2011 and put forward up to 3 nominations each for the Assembly. From the nominations a list was compiled ensuring there was a balanced split between different sectors and around 100 representatives were invited to attend. Feedback is currently being sought on the future role of the Assembly in order to draft its Terms of Reference, which will need to include membership.

Environment  A new Energy Future Panel has been set up, to replace the former Environment Partnership.  

The Calderdale Council Partnership Support Team has come up with lots of helpful information. And the Calderdale Energy Future Panel has been set up.

Summer 2013 update: CEF Panel member Finn Jensen reports that there is now a CEF Community Working Group. This replaces DCarb Upper Calder Valley, which has now ceased to exist.

Council officers

Council officers in each department are responsible for carrying out the policies that the Councillors decide on. At least, that’s the theory. The Officers also have expert knowledge in their field and advise the Councillors on policy making.

Council officers dealing with issues relating to climate change and energy:

Transportation Officer, Peter Stubbs

Housing Projects Officer, Housing Energy Action Team – Richard Armitage (responsible for Affordable Warmth Partnership, domestic energy efficiency retrofits)

Conservation Officer, Hugh Firman

Energy Officer, Daniel Knight

Environment Officer, Emma Appleton, has left and I don’t know if she’s been replaced.

Countryside and Woodlands Manager, Countryside Services
Tel: 01422 284417
Email: countryside@calderdale.gov.uk

Senior Forestry Officer, Richard Robertshaw, Tel: 01422 393212, Email: richard.robertshaw@calderdale.gov.uk

Councillors with responsibility for climate change/energy/environmental matters:

Cabinet Member – Economy: Peter Caffrey

Cabinet Member – CAFM, Housing and Environment: Scott Lloyd Benton (and no, I don’t know what CAFM means).

Economy & Environment Scrutiny Panel members:

Economy and Environment

In 2012 the Economy and Environment Directorate produced Calderdale’s Energy Future, a vision of how the area can reduce its carbon emissions by 40% by 2020, compared to levels in 2005.

Planning Applications

If you’re interested in the latest planning applications in Calderdale, all the info is here. There is also a Buildings and Planning thread on this website.

2 thoughts on “Upper Calder Valley environmental groups, organisations & businesses

  1. Hi Jenny – A really good posting – you should send it to Cllr Tim Swift and Cllr Barry Collins at Calderdale and Jason Boon Town Clerk HRTC