This is the Watershed Landscape 

... a landscape worth celebrating, sharing and protecting. 

The Watershed Landscape is the upland area of the South Pennines where east meets west, North Sea to Irish Sea, uniting Lancashire and Yorkshire along the way. It is where our essential drinking water falls as rainwater and is channelled into reservoirs that riddle the moorland, providing water for us all.

More than a million people live in or around the South Pennine uplands yet they can still feel remote, wild and exhilarating: a place for reflection, relaxation and inspiration. They have already inspired artists and writers over generations from the Brontës to Ted Hughes, from Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth to Joseph Pighills, and continue the tradition today.

The history of the place runs deep and many clues to its past lie scattered across its surface. A landscape rich in prehistoric remains, it also bears the scars of industrial and agricultural hard graft. 

The natural landscape is built on foundations of grit and peat, making it a rich home for special moorland flora and fauna. It is such a unique place that much of the Watershed Landscape is protected to help wildlife flourish. We even have our very own rare Pennine Finch, also known as the Twite. As our future comes into focus, this environment has a pivotal role to play in rising to modern challenge of climate change.

The Project will leave its mark – on the landscape, its heritage, its people, and on the organisations working in the area. Not only will the physical improvements such as the repaired drystone walls and the improved moorland footpaths remain for many years, but the way people now think about the South Pennines will make a difference, whether this is local residents, visitors, farmers, community groups, or organisations. 

The Watershed Landscape Project was a three year programme that ran between 2010 and 2013. It was managed by Pennine Prospects in partnership with a wide range of organisations and hand-in-hand with local communities. Thank you to all our partners, consultants and volunteers for making this project such a success.

Find out about the activities, achievements and impact of this award-winning project by exploring our website, and feel inspired to explore the fascinating South Pennine landscape for yourself.