Sunnyhurst Woods joins new national park as a special lyrical ‘hot spot’

Published Friday 17 September 2021 at 10:35

The South Pennines Park was officially launched this month featuring specially written song lyrics in chosen areas – including Darwen.

The Park is an ‘alternative’ National Park — covering 460 square miles of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. It is home to more than 660,000 people.

It is a propsed national park which would cover a large area of Northern England and encompass parts of Greater ManchesterLancashire and West Yorkshire, and has been launched under a “self-declaration” scheme. Backers hope the park will be approved as an official national park by the Government.

To mark the occasion of the launch, special song lyrics have been stencilled around Sunnyhurst Woods and other ‘hot spot’ locations – sprayed in a temporary eco-friendly water-based paint.

So far, the blue ‘graffiti’ featuring the final verse of the song ‘Chimneys, Moors and Me’ by folk due O’Hooley and Tidow has appeared outside the Kala Sangam Arts Centre in Bradford, Sunnyhurst Woods in Darwen, Bacup town centre in Rossendale and Towneley Park in Burnley – all areas within the new South Pennines Park.

The song by O’Hooley and Tidow, the creators of the Gentleman Jack theme tune, is a self-confessed ‘love song’ to the new national park. It talks about the pride people feel about the Pennines and the unique landscape of the industrial mills against the stunning rolling hills.

Speaking about the song, Belinda O’Hooley said:

We have found the work incredibly inspiring. The song is all about the absolute love we have for where we live and the pride that’s in the communities in the South Pennines. It’s written with love and it’s not just about a place, it’s about the people.

The area has big mills and imposing structures nestled in the most beautiful moorland, and miles of canals. It’s a history lesson on our doorstep. It’s the juxtaposition that makes it unique.”

Councillor Dave Smith, Ward Councillor for Darwen West which includes Sunnyhurst Woods, said:

Sunnyhurst Woods is absolutely beautiful woodland and one of the jewels in the crown of the borough. It absolutely deserves its place in the launch of this new alternative national park and I hope people will go along to take a look at the song lyrics and enjoy the wonderful woods.”


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