Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership project leaves lasting legacy

A Pendle Hill landscape and heritage project that over four-and-half years has seen more than 22,000 people engage with the iconic landmark has come to an end.

The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership saw 1,930 volunteer days, 233 events held with 10,008 attending, and 57 schools getting involved in outdoor learning.

The £1.8m National Lottery Heritage Fund supported programme aimed to foster engagement and re-connect people with the landscape and heritage of Pendle Hill.

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Downham woodland volunteers. Photo. The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership

It leaves a legacy that includes conservation from planting trees and tackling climate change, to restoring hedgerows and wildflower meadows.

Practical projects saw 18 hectares of peatland and 5ha of woodland restored, 19 ha of woodland created, 6km of hedge and 1km of wall restored, as well as 9km of routes created or repaired.

Local arts organisation, In-Situ, created a Pendle Peat Pie to act as a conversation starter about peatland restoration. One hundred orders of the pie were sent to world leaders attending COP26. It was tasted live on the BBC Morning show by TV presenter Gethin Jones. In-Situ also led a youth summit bringing together culturally diverse young people from both sides of Pendle Hill to explore climate change, identity and leadership.

Around 1,097 people have attended 180 health and well-being sessions run in partnership with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, deigned to reduce loneliness and isolation,

Archaeology guided walk. Photo: The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership

Cathy Hopley, programme Manager of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, said: “It’s been an exciting and fast-paced programme, that’s delivered far-ranging, diverse projects with a clear, positive benefit on individuals, our environment, and community at-large. There’s quite a lot of inequality in green space, and we wanted to make Pendle Hill accessible to all communities with these innovative activities.”

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Managed by the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership brought together 14 projects to celebrate and engage people in the landscape.

The team has worked with the Dry-Stone Walling Association, Ribble Rivers Trust the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedgelaying Association, encouraged nature friendly farming, and worked with the local Pakistani community to look at links to nature and their faith.

In partnership with Mid-Pennine Arts, artists, makers, researchers and story-tellers have also told the stories of Quakers, Romans, witches and the first female working-class novelist, the ‘Mill Poetess’, Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.

The launch of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership. Photo: The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.
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In addition, with support from The Ernest Cook Trust, 57 schools, 160 schools’ sessions, and 10,000 parents, carers, children and young people have been involved in a variety of sessions and settings, while more than 100 arts events have also been delivered.

Louise Sutherland, National Lottery Heritage Fund head of engagement for the north, said: “The sheer breadth and the amount of people who have worked on this scheme, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, and its success is testimony to the work of trusted partner organisations who fostered such fantastic community engagement. These creative partnerships have helped the team to access networks within underserved communities, and tailor projects to their needs. The projects have inspired new careers, new volunteering and new friendships, leaving a lasting legacy for Pendle Hill.”