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Green Spaces Project of the Month

February 2005 - Lower Spen Nature Reserve, Ravensthorpe

Contact: Jennifer Barr, Wildspace! Community Liaison Officer
tel: 0113 231 2360,


Kirklees (Metropolitan Council) is a poor area relative to the rest of W. Yorks. It is one of the few flat areas in the county with a high proportion of countryside. The economy is based on manufacturing. With a population of around 850thousand, there is high unemployment and lots of empty council housing. People get `dumped' here.

Batley and Dewsbury were Irish areas, but now have large Gujurati communities. Dewsbury has one of the largest areas of derelict land in the UK – ex canal and railway land.

Ravensthorpe is more multicultural, with more scattered populations, and less social cohesion. There are housing, crime and drugs issues. Ravensthorpe was once home to Italian, Polish and Ukranian communities (did people assimilate or move away?) It is currently 50:50 white: Asian, of which mainly Kashmiri / Mirpuri (speaking Urdu or Punjabi) plus a few Indians (no Bangladeshis) with lots of refugees and asylum seekers – mainly Iraqi Kurds and Africans. There are a handful of Bosnians and Croatians. The white population is ageing compared to the younger Asian population profile. Culturally, there is a significant `generation gap' in the Asian community.



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