Blueprint will give new lease of life to one of county's most recognisable landmarks

Pendle resident Miss Foster looks at some of the exicting plans on the map for Pendle Hill.
Pendle resident Miss Foster looks at some of the exicting plans on the map for Pendle Hill.

A £2m blueprint of exciting plans for the future of Pendle Hill and the people who live around it  have been unveiled.

More than 50 people from the villages and communities around the famous landmark gathered at a meeting of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership which aims to give it the recognition it deserves and reconnect people wit the landscape that is on their doorstep.

Practical schemes include accessible paths, improved car parking, visitor ‘hubs’, dry stonewalling, training, apprenticeships, signage and shelters for walkers.

The plans were unveiled at "gatherings" held at the Grassroots Centre in Nelson and St Mary's Hall, Sabden, and other projects include focussing on archaeology, history and industry.

The area is part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty whose team is the driving force that pulled together a partnership of communities, landowners, creative agencies and councils that decided to go for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Development officer Cathy Hopley and assistant development officer, Jayne Ashe, with help from a partnering organisation In-Situ, were kept busy during the Gatherings, answering questions and explaining plans for the £2m scheme.

The scheme was awarded a grant of £2million by the Heritage Lottery Fund in October 2015. These funds will be delivered from 2018-2022 and will be

matched with a further £1m raised locally.

The scheme is made up of a dozen projects which safeguard the area's wildlife and heritage and improve people's access to this popular countryside area. Partners include representatives of parish councils, the landowning and farming community, Pendle and Ribble Valley Borough Councils, Lancashire County Council, statutory bodies, tourism businesses and volunteers.

Pendle Hill LP covers 120 square kilometres, stretching from Gisburn down to Whalley, and from Clitheroe across to Nelson and Padiham.

The Hill is well known as a beauty spot and is heavily visited by residents of the local towns and is a perfect place for walking and cycling. The area's heritage is dominated by the story of the Pendle Witches, but there are lots more stories to tell including the founding of the

Quaker movement, non- conformists and radicals, Roman and Bronze Age settlers, medieval farming systems and early industrial developments. The network of dry stone walls and hedgerows give the area a distinctive feel, and the landscape is also important for its wild moorland, rare birds and woodlands.

For further information visit the facebook page PendleHill Project for up to date news and views.