Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city, it has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy. Leeds was a small manorial borough in the 13th century, in the 17th and 18th centuries it became a major centre for the production and trading of wool, in the Industrial Revolution a major mill town. From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.
It now lies within the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the United Kingdom's fourth-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.6 million. Today, Leeds has become the largest legal and financial centre, outside London with the financial and insurance services industry worth £13 billion to the city's economy; the finance and business service sector account for 38% of total output with more than 30 national and international banks located in the city, including an office of the Bank of England. Leeds is the UK's third-largest manufacturing centre with around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city and is worth over £7 billion to the local economy. The largest sub-sectors are engineering and publishing, food and drink and medical technology. Other key sectors include retail and the visitor economy and the creative and digital industries; the city saw several firsts, including the oldest-surviving film in existence, Roundhay Garden Scene, the 1767 invention of soda water.
Public transport and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds, the second phase of High Speed 2 will connect it to London via East Midlands Hub and Sheffield Meadowhall. Leeds has the third busiest railway station and the tenth busiest airport outside London; the name derives from the old Brythonic word Ladenses meaning "people of the fast-flowing river", in reference to the River Aire that flows through the city. This name referred to the forested area covering most of the Brythonic kingdom of Elmet, which existed during the 5th century into the early 7th century. Bede states in the fourteenth chapter of his Ecclesiastical History, in a discussion of an altar surviving from a church erected by Edwin of Northumbria, that it is located in...regione quae vocatur Loidis. An inhabitant of Leeds is locally known as a word of uncertain origin; the term Leodensian is used, from the city's Latin name. The name has been explained as a derivative of Welsh lloed, meaning "a place".
Leeds developed as a market town in the Middle Ages as part of the local agricultural economy. Before the Industrial Revolution, it became a co-ordination centre for the manufacture of woollen cloth, white broadcloth was traded at its White Cloth Hall. Leeds handled one sixth of England's export trade in 1770. Growth in textiles, was accelerated by the building of the Aire and Calder Navigation in 1699 and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1816. In the late Georgian era, William Lupton, Lord of the Manor of Leeds, was one of a number of central Leeds landowners with the mesne lord title, some of whom, like him, were textile manufacturers. At the time of his death in 1828, Lupton's land in Briggate in central Leeds included a mill, manor house and outbuildings; the railway network constructed around Leeds, starting with the Leeds and Selby Railway in 1834, provided improved communications with national markets and for its development, an east-west connection with Manchester and the ports of Liverpool and Hull giving improved access to international markets.
Alongside technological advances and industrial expansion, Leeds retained an interest in trading in agricultural commodities, with the Corn Exchange opening in 1864. Marshall's Mill was one of the first of many factories constructed in Leeds from around 1790 when the most significant were woollen finishing and flax mills. Manufacturing diversified by 1914 to printing, engineering and clothing manufacture. Decline in manufacturing during the 1930s was temporarily reversed by a switch to producing military uniforms and munitions during World War II. However, by the 1970s, the clothing industry was in irreversible decline, facing cheap foreign competition; the contemporary economy has been shaped by Leeds City Council's vision of building a'24-hour European city' and'capital of the north'. The city has developed from the decay of the post-industrial era to become a telephone banking centre, connected to the electronic infrastructure of the modern global economy. There has been growth in the corporate and legal sectors, increased local affluence has led to an expanding retail sector, including the luxury goods market.
Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone was launched in April 2012 to promote development in four sites along the A63 East Leeds Link Road. Leeds was a manor and townshi
West Yorkshire Police
West Yorkshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing West Yorkshire in England. It is the fourth largest force in England and Wales with 5,671 officers. West Yorkshire Police was formed in 1974, when part of the West Yorkshire Constabulary was amalgamated with the Leeds City Police and Bradford City Police, under the Local Government Act 1972; the force was known as the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police. Some older signs around the Force area, such as the one in the reception of Millgarth Police Station in Leeds city centre read'West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police'. The'Metropolitan' from the police title was dropped in 1986 when the Metropolitan counties were abolished. Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 21 March 2006 would see the force merge with North Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police to form a strategic police force for the entire region; these plans are under review and not expected to take place in the foreseeable future. On 12 December 2006, Sir Norman Bettison was announced as the new Chief Constable, replacing Colin Cramphorn and resigned from his post on 24 October 2012.
He was replaced by Temporary Chief Constable John Parkinson until the appointment of Mark Gilmore as Chief Constable on 1 February 2013. In 2018 it was reckoned West Yorkshire Police would lose 400 officers from its 4,800 officers due to austerity. For operational purposes West Yorkshire Police is divided into five geographic divisions known within the force as ‘policing districts’; the change in nomenclature reflects that of April 2014 the alignment with council boundaries for policing districts and the reduction of divisions in Leeds and Bradford so that each policing district was conterminous with its respective local authority boundaries. Each district is made up of Partnership Working Areas which consist of an Inspector and three teams of sergeants, police constables, special constables and PCSOs; the first single police commander of the Bradford district, Chief Superintendent Simon Atkin, was appointed in October 2013 as part of ongoing moves to merge the district’s two policing divisions, while Chief Superintendent Angela Williams was appointed in Calderdale.
The five existing divisions with their divisional identifiers and their divisional commander are as follows: The force headquarters is situated on Laburnum Road to the north of Wakefield city centre along with the Learning and Development Centre and specialist operations facility at Carr Gate, Wakefield at Junction 41 of the M1 motorway. The Sir Alec Jeffreys Building in the Calder Park Business Estate houses the Yorkshire and The Humber Scientific Support Service and was opened in May 2012 by Sir Alec Jeffreys himself. West Yorkshire Police is the'lead force' for scientific support and provides such services for North Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police; the current estate of police stations and other buildings is changing with certain buildings closing and new buildings opening. As of 2014 there are three PFI projects completed and as a result of these new buildings a number of police stations have closed and been sold. Wakefield District police headquarters is now located on Normanton.
The total area is 11,500 metres squared and provides office accommodation as well as a 35-cell custody suite. As it's now operational, the following Police stations are in the process of being closed and/or sold. Wood Street Police Station, Wakefield. Normanton Police Station, Normanton. Castleford Police Station, Castleford The new headquarters for the newly formed Leeds District is operational on Elland Road, Leeds; the total area is 12,500 metres squared and provides office accommodation as well as a 40-cell custody suite. Now operational, the Leeds District HQ will replace the following stations: Millgarth Police Station, Leeds city centre. Holbeck Police Station, Leeds; the existing Operational Support facilities at Carr Gate, Wakefield have been expanded and new buildings constructed which has centralised specialist training for the force in one location. The new facility, which totals 20,000 metres squared includes the following: Training hub facility Public Order training facility Driver training facility Firearms training facility Method of Entry area West Riding ConstabularyMajor-General Llewellyn William Atcherley Captain Henry Studdy George Edward Scott West Yorkshire Constabulary Ronald Gregory West Yorkshire Police Sir Colin Sampsom Mr Peter Nobes Keith Hellawell Alan Charlesworth Graham Moore (1999 to 2002} Colin Cramphorn Sir Norman Bettison Mark Gilmore Dee Collins Mark Burns-Williamson.
The table below shows the divisional structure from 2008 – 2014. From the mid-1990s, there were seventeen geographical divisions within West Yorkshire Police.
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs and is bordered by the counties of Derbyshire to the south, Greater Manchester to the south-west, Lancashire to the north-west, North Yorkshire to the north and east, South Yorkshire to the south and south-east. Remnants of strong coal and iron ore industries remain in the county, having attracted people over the centuries, this can be seen in the buildings and architecture. Leeds may become a terminus for a north-east limb of High Speed 2. Major railways and two major motorways traverse the county, which contains Leeds Bradford International Airport. West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986 so its five districts became unitary authorities.
However, the metropolitan county, which covers an area of 2,029 square kilometres, continues to exist in law, as a geographic frame of reference. Since 1 April 2014 West Yorkshire has been a combined authority area, with the local authorities pooling together some functions over transport and regeneration as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. West Yorkshire includes the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the biggest and most built-up urban area within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire. West Yorkshire was formed as a metropolitan county in 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, corresponds to the core of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire and the county boroughs of Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield. West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council inherited the use of West Riding County Hall at Wakefield, opened in 1898, from the West Riding County Council in 1974. Since 1987 it has been the headquarters of Wakefield City Council; the county had a two-tier structure of local government with a strategic-level county council and five districts providing most services.
In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished. The functions of the county council were devolved to the boroughs. Organisations such as the West Yorkshire Metro continue to operate on this basis. Although the county council was abolished, West Yorkshire continues to form a metropolitan and ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and a High Sheriff. Wakefield's Parish Church was raised to cathedral status in 1888 and after the elevation of Wakefield to diocese, Wakefield Council sought city status and this was granted in July 1888; however the industrial revolution, which changed West and South Yorkshire led to the growth of Leeds and Bradford, which became the area's two largest cities. Leeds was granted city status in 1893 and Bradford in 1897; the name of Leeds Town Hall reflects the fact that at its opening in 1858 Leeds was not yet a city, while Bradford renamed its Town Hall as City Hall in 1965. The county borders, going anticlockwise from the west: Lancashire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
It lies entirely on rocks of carboniferous age which form the southern Pennine fringes in the west and the Yorkshire coalfield further eastwards. In the extreme east of the metropolitan county there are younger deposits of magnesian limestone; the Bradford and Calderdale areas are dominated by the scenery of the eastern slopes of the Pennines, dropping from upland in the west down to the east, dissected by many steep-sided valleys. Large-scale industry, housing and commercial buildings of differing heights, transport routes and open countryside conjoin; the dense network of roads and railways and urban development, confined by valleys creates dramatic interplay of views between settlements and the surrounding hillsides, as shaped the first urban-rural juxtapositions of David Hockney. Where most rural the land crops up in the such rhymes and folklore as On Ilkley Moor Bah'Tat, date unknown, the early 19th century novels and poems of the Brontë family in and around Haworth and long-running light comedy-drama Last of the Summer Wine in the 20th century.
The carboniferous rocks of the Yorkshire coalfield further east have produced a rolling landscape with hills and broad valleys. In this landscape there is widespread evidence of former industrial activity. There are numerous derelict or converted mine buildings and landscaped former spoil heaps; the scenery is a mixture of built up areas, industrial land with some dereliction, farmed open country. Ribbon developments along transport routes including canal and rail are prominent features of the area although some remnants of the pre industrial landscape and semi-natural vegetation still survive. However, many areas are affected by urban fringe pressures creating fragmented and downgraded landscapes and present are urban influences from major cities, smaller industrial towns and former mining villages. In the magnesian limestone belt to the east of the Leeds and Wakefield areas is an elevated ridge with smoothly rolling scenery, dissected by dry valleys. Here, there is a large number of country houses and estates with parkland, estate woodlands and game coverts.
The rivers Aire and Calder drain the area, flowing from west to east. The table below outlines many of the co
Royal Observer Corps
The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation intended for the visual detection, identification and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain. It operated in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps' civilian volunteers were stood down.. Composed of civilian spare-time volunteers, ROC personnel wore a Royal Air Force style uniform and latterly came under the administrative control of RAF Strike Command and the operational control of the Home Office. Civilian volunteers were trained and administered by a small cadre of professional full-time officers under the command of the Commandant Royal Observer Corps. In 1925, following a Defence Committee initiative undertaken the previous year, the formation of an RAF command concerning the Air Defence of Great Britain led to the provision of a Raid Reporting System, itself delegated to a sub-committee consisting of representatives from the Air Ministry, Home Office and the General Post Office; this Raid Reporting System was to provide for the visual detection, identification and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain, was to become known as the Observer Corps.
The Observer Corps was subsequently awarded the title Royal by His Majesty King George VI in April 1941, in recognition of service carried out by Observer Corps personnel during the Battle of Britain. Throughout the remainder of the Second World War, the ROC continued to complement and at times replace the Chain Home defensive radar system by undertaking an inland aircraft tracking and reporting function, while Chain Home provided a predominantly coastal, long-range tracking and reporting system. With the advent of the Cold War, the ROC continued in its primary role of aircraft recognition and reporting, in 1955 was allocated the additional task of detecting and reporting nuclear explosions and associated fall-out. By 1965, thanks to advances in technology, most roles and responsibilities relating to aircraft had been withdrawn and the ROC assumed the role of field force for the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation. By the late 1980s the ROC comprised 69 professional full-time officers 10,500 civilian spare-time volunteers, over 100 Ministry of Defence civilian support staff.
At HQROC, over a dozen full-time secretarial and other administrative staff were present. Each of the five Area HQs were staffed by a clerical officer and a typist, each of the 25 Group HQs were staffed by a clerical officer and handyperson. Following the UK Government's Options for Change defence spending review in 1990, the vast majority of the civilian spare-time volunteers were stood down on 30 September 1991, with the remainder being stood down on 31 December 1995; the closure of HQROC on 31 March 1996 and redeployment of those few remaining HQROC staff marked the disbandment of the ROC after over 70 years of service. The ROC can trace its roots to the First World War and the requirement for a warning system to bolster UK defences, predominantly over south east England, against bombing raids by Zeppelin airships of the German Empire's Luftstreitkräfte. A system of observation posts and observers was organised, with a network of 200 posts established in strategic areas; these posts were manned by British Army personnel, who were in turn replaced by Special Constables, posts were coordinated on an area basis with telephone communications provided between themselves and their associated anti-aircraft defences.
Throughout 1917 Germany began to deploy increasing numbers of fixed-wing bombers, with the result that the number of airship raids decreased in favour of raids by such aircraft. In response to this new threat, Major General Edward Bailey Ashmore, a Royal Flying Corps pilot who commanded an artillery division in Belgium, was appointed to devise an improved system of detection and control; the system, called the Metropolitan Observation Service, encompassed the London Air Defence Area and extended eastwards towards the Kentish and Essex coasts. The Metropolitan Observation Service met with some success and although not operational until the late summer of 1918, the lessons learned were to prove invaluable for future developments in the field of aircraft observation and reporting. Major General E B Ashmore is considered to have been the founder of what would become the Royal Observer Corps. Following the Armistice in 1918, it had been intended that the knowledge and skills gained by the Metropolitan Observation Service during the First World War would be maintained for the future security of the nation.
However, by the end of 1920, the observation-post networks and their associated anti-aircraft hardware had been decommissioned, in 1922 the responsibility for air defence was transferred from the War Office to the Air Ministry. Following this transfer, Major General Ashmore, responsible for air defence during World War I, reported to a new Air Raid Precautions committee, established in January 1924. In areas surrounding Romney Marsh and the Weald a series of trials were undertaken to develop a Raid Reporting System which would employ an optimum arrangement of observation posts and associated control-centres. During 1925 these trials were further extended to cover parts of the counties of Essex and Hampshire, and
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It comprises most of Yorkshire, as well as North East Lincolnshire, it does not include Middlesbrough and Cleveland or other areas of Yorkshire, such as Sedbergh not included in the aforementioned administrative areas. The largest settlements are, Sheffield, Bradford and York; the population in 2011 was 5,284,000. The committees for the regions, including the one for Yorkshire and the Humber, ceased to exist upon the dissolution of Parliament on 12 April 2010. Regional ministers were not reappointed by the incoming Coalition Government, the Government Offices were abolished in 2011. Scammonden Dam, is the highest dam in UK at 73 metres, Dean Head cutting is the deepest roadway cutting in Europe at 183 ft, at Scammonden Bridge, on the M62. Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe claims to be longest place name in England. In the Yorkshire and the Humber region, there is a close relationship between the major topographical areas and the underlying geology.
The Pennine chain of hills in the west is of Carboniferous origin. The central vale is Permo-Triassic; the North York Moors in the north-east of the county are Jurassic in age, while the Yorkshire Wolds and Lincolnshire Wolds to the south east are Cretaceous chalk uplands. The highest point of the region is Whernside, in the Yorkshire Dales, at 737 metres; the region is drained by several rivers. In western and central Yorkshire, the many rivers empty their waters into the River Ouse, which reaches the North Sea via the Humber Estuary; the most northerly of the rivers in the Ouse system is the River Swale, which drains Swaledale before passing through Richmond and meandering across the Vale of Mowbray. Next, draining Wensleydale, is the River Ure; the River Nidd rises on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and flows along Nidderdale before reaching the Vale of York. The Ouse is the name given to the river after its confluence with the Ure at Ouse Gill Beck; the River Wharfe, which drains Wharfedale, joins the Ouse upstream of Cawood.
The Rivers Aire and Calder are more southerly contributors to the River Ouse. The most southerly Yorkshire tributary is the River Don, which flows northwards to join the main river at Goole; the River Derwent rises on the North York Moors, flows south westwards through the Vale of Pickering turns south again to drain the eastern part of the Vale of York. It empties into the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh. In the far north of the county, the River Tees flows eastwards through Teesdale and empties its waters into the North Sea downstream of Middlesbrough; the smaller River Esk flows from west to east at the northern foot of the North York Moors to reach the sea at Whitby. To the east of the Yorkshire Wolds, the River Hull flows southwards to join the Humber Estuary at Kingston upon Hull; the western Pennines are served by the River Ribble, which drains westwards into the Irish Sea close to Lytham St Annes. The lower stretches of the River Trent flow through North Lincolnshire and meet the Ouse at Trent Falls.
The largest freshwater lake in the region is Hornsea Mere in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This region of England has cool summers and mild winters, with the upland areas of the North York Moors and the Pennines experiencing the coolest weather and the Vale of York the warmest. Weather conditions vary from day to day as well as from season to season; the latitude of the area means that it is influenced by predominantly westerly winds with depressions and their associated fronts, bringing with them unsettled and windy weather in winter. Between depressions, there are small mobile anticyclones that bring periods of fair weather. In winter anticyclones bring cold dry weather. In summer the anticyclones tend to bring settled conditions which can lead to drought. For its latitude, this area is mild in winter and cooler in summer due to the influence of the Gulf Stream in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Air temperature varies on a seasonal basis. Cities such as Sheffield and Bradford are cooler due to their inland and upland location, while York and Wakefield are warmer due to their lowland location.
The temperature is lower at night. Snow is not uncommon in the winter, Yorkshire is hilly/mountainous, the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines can have extreme snowstorms with high snowdrifts. Inland/upland settlements, such as Skipton or Ilkley, have more snow than coastal towns. Hull and Scarborough have less snow. Climate data for settlements in the region: There are seven cities in Yorkshire and the Humber: Bradford, Kingston upon Hull, Ripon, Sheffield and York. Large towns in the area include Barnsley, Grimsby, Harrogate and Scunthorpe. Leeds is the largest settlement and the largest part of an urban area with a population of 1.5 million. Leeds is now one of the largest financial centres in the United Kingdom. Sheffield is a large manufacturing centre. Bradford was a textile manufacturing city; as jobs moved offshore the decline of this industry has resulted in a more diverse economy. Kingston upon Hull is the main port in the region and a notable fishing harbou
Mirfield is a small town and civil parish in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is on the A644 road between Brighouse and Dewsbury. At the 2011 census it had a population of 19,563; the town is served by Mirfield railway station. From 1894 to 1974, Mirfield was an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire until it was merged into the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees. In 1988 a parish council was formed, one of five in Kirklees, the others being:- Denby Dale, Meltham and Holme Valley; as a parish council an additional tax precept to the Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council tax is levied on the town's residents. It is made up of 16 councillors who serve for a fixed four-year term, represent wards within the parish; the members elect a town mayor. In addition to the town council Mirfield is represented by three councillors on Kirklees Metropolitan Council, the local Mirfield Area Committee In May 2005, Mirfield became the first Fairtrade Town in Kirklees and only the fourth in West Yorkshire.
The Mirfield Show is an annual agricultural event held on the third Sunday in August at Mirfield showground. It is organised and run by the Mirfield Agricultural Society as a non-profit making event for the families of Mirfield and district. Local residents introduced the Mirfield Food & Craft Fayre in April 2012, scheduled to be run the last Saturday of each month and "help raise the profile of Mirfield, be a benefit to local traders, businesses and charities, add more destination events to the Yorkshire calendar". There are two secondary schools in Mirfield: Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form and Castle Hall School. Primary schools include Battyeford CE Primary School, Crossley Fields, Old Bank, Hopton Primary School and Crowlees Junior and Infant School, all of which were assessed by Ofsted as'Grade 1 – Outstanding' in the March 2007 inspection; the 13th century St Mary's Church was rebuilt in 1826 but proved too small for the growing population and was regarded as too minor for the growing district.
A new church, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, was built a few yards to the northwest, on the site of Castle Hall, a mansion home to the families of Mirfields and Beaumonts. At Scott's suggestion, the tower of the earlier church, which retains some medieval work, was retained. St. Mary's Church was the boyhood church of Sir Patrick Stewart, of Star Trek fame; the College of the Resurrection is a Church of England theological college. There, Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury, lectured from 1975 for two years and Archbishop Trevor Huddleston spent his last days. During the 18th century, a canal was constructed through the town linking the River Calder with other rivers in the area; the canal is part of the Hebble Navigation. Its construction resulted in many industries such as the textiles and boat yards; the canal is still in use for recreational users, with a high popularity of the pastime "duck feeding" being present along the waters edge. Mirfield is the base of the Safe Anchor Trust, a charity founded in 1995 to provide canal boat trips for vulnerable and special needs people.
In 2012, Princess Anne commissioned a new boat for the Trust. Lee Blakeley, theatre director. Alun Cochrane, comedian, co-host on The Frank Skinner Show. Debbie Lindley, TV weather presenter. Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks. Brian Robinson, cyclist the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France. Mary Snell-Hornby, translation scholar. Patrick Stewart, actor. There are many national businesses based in Mirfield including John Cotton Group Ltd and Furniture Choice; the town has a variety of local independent shops as well as national chains such as Lidl, Bargain Booze, Tesco and Co-op Food. Mirfield is the home of Mirfield Petanque Club who play in the West Yorkshire Petanque League. Náchod, Czech Republic Mirfield Reporter Mirfield Town Council homepage Mirfield in Pictures Mirfield to Low Moor railway line Kirklees Council Website, Mirfield Information page
The River Spen, known colloquially as Spen Beck, is a river in the county of West Yorkshire, England and is a tributary of the River Calder. It rises north of Cleckheaton, runs through Liversedge and flows into the River Calder, West Yorkshire south of Dewsbury at Ravensthorpe; the average rainfall for the river valley is between 600-1000mm per annum. Combined with the steep narrow river channel, this makes the Spen susceptible to regular flooding; the river becomes the Spen at Nann Hall Beck in Cleckheaton. It flows south past local Industrial premises parallel to a dismantled railway line before turning south east on the outskirts of Liversedge, it continues flowing in this direction through the heart of the Industrial centre of the town before returning southwards along the edge of Heckmondwike. On the outskirts of the village of Ravensthorpe it turns south east again before joining the River Calder; the river is an urban waterway and has suffered from sewage effluent and industrial waste, though levels of pollutants and mine water discharges have decreased since 1999.
Heavy rain can cause pollutant levels to rise and the river suffers from tipping and urban litter. There are several non-native species of plant found along the river including Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese knotweed. Bistort, wild garlic and dandelions are found in abundance in the meadows between the conurbations; the disused railway line next to the riverbank is used as part of the Spen Valley Greenway from Dewsbury to Oakenshaw near Bradford. The path is home to a collection of artworks, including A Flock of Swaledale Sheep, constructed from recycled industrial scrap by Sally Matthews, Rotate by Trudi Entwistle which comprises 40 giant steel hoops set in a circle. Ordnance Survey Open Data