There is evidence of human activity on the Yorkshire moors around Cragg from circa 10,000 B.C. Flints, not native to West Yorkshire, have been found on Blackstone and Midgley Moors - implying movement of peoples and long distance trade by this period at the latest.
Later flint spear heads and arrow tips, hunting weapons, have been found in quantity over Manshead and Rishworth moors. So Mesolithic tribes hunted around both the Turvin and Cragg areas.
Hunters were constrained to move across the high reaches, which were less heavily wooded, rather than the steep sided valleys - but to cross from top to top they must descend to ford the streams and rivers of the valley bottoms.
Although prehistoric and later peoples were responsible for extensive tree felling and land clearance this did not create the peat moors above Cragg Vale.
Around 5,000 BCE the climate changed and became much wetter and remained so for over 2,000 years. Soil deteriorated as minerals were washed away, and the land around Cragg became waterlogged. The trees and plant life died away (drowned) and the peat moors on the tops were created. So we can't blame acid rain from Manchester, though we have the heavy industrial air pollution of the 19th and 20th centuries to thank for putting the final nail in the coffin.
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