|Stuck at the border – our stopping place tonight|
|The official boundary between the red rose and the white|
We are sitting at what – in a spy movie – could be a border crossing, a swingbridge bearing a large 'Stop' sign bars our forward progress beyond the last lock in Yorkshire.
|We got a bit further but the water ran out so we had to reverse back|
|The summit level looks beautiful but water levels are very low|
|And the locks are padlocked shut until levels rise|
|Plenty of water and fine views up at Warland Reservoir|
On the way up we had passed someone doing fencing; on the way down he was still at it and we stopped to chat. Turned out he owned the farm whose castellated, mock-castle wall we had seen as we approached on the canal. Dave and his partner Monica had returned from 25 years in Australia and used the proceeds from the sale of their beachside home to fund their dream project – to create an environmentally conscious farmstead at Warland Farm.
It's a bold scheme; they want to ensure that the land and buildings are brought into use in ways that restore the social value of the farm and benefit the local community as well as demonstrate ecological management of the farmland. To that end they've planted 11,000 trees to stabilise the steeply sloping land and, in due course, to help alleviate the flooding the local Calder valley has suffered. They are also creating an orchard, vegetable farm, blacksmith workshop and woodworking shop to bring craft skills back into use. "Come back and see us in a few years and see how we are getting on," said Dave.