Pendle Hill Project Leaves Lasting Legacy

More than 22,000 people have engaged with the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership over the last four and a half years, which has now come to an end. The scheme saw…

Pendle Hill Landscape Project

More than 22,000 people have engaged with the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership over the last four and a half years, which has now come to an end.

The scheme 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.

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.

Pendle Pie

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.

Pendle Summit Project

Other major impacts include education, and health and well-being.

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,

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.”

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

The iconic Pendle Hill on the edge of the Forest of Bowland is within reach of many urban communities, and it creates a beautiful backdrop to their lives.

Cathy Hopley said: “A research project, 72 Seasons, was designed to help more people connect with nature, and it showed astonishing results. Participants reported improved sleep, reduced loneliness, and feeling more connected. There’s a lot of research into why nature is good for us, it can reduce blood pressure and improve mood. 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.”

Pendle SnowDrops

The team have 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.

Projects have also inspired new audiences to learn, connecting communities to shared heritage.

In partnership with Mid-Pennine Arts, artists, makers, researchers and story-tellers have been engaged to tell the radial stories of Quakers, Romans, witches and the first female working-class novelist, the ‘Mill Poetess”, Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.

In addition, thanks to support from The Ernest Cook Trust, 57 schools, 160 schools’ sessions, and 10,000 parents, carers, children and young people have engaged in a variety of sessions and settings, such as mini beast hunts and archaeological explorations. 50 teachers recently attended an outdoor learning event to gain knowledge skills and resources to enable them to continue their good work.

Over 100 arts events were delivered, attended by 6300 people; 3369 people engaging creatively with more than 46 artists.

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 under-served 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.”

The Honourable Ralph C Assheton, Chairman of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, said: “Thanks to the support of partners and the hard work of volunteers, the programme has left a lasting impact. Pendle Hill is important to a lot of people, and our aim was to protect and improve the landscape and heritage of the area, whilst also providing the opportunity for a wider range of people to connect with this special place.”

A celebration event with participating artists, conservationists, academics, community leaders and others who took part in the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership took place on Thursday 13th October 2022 at Stirk House in Clitheroe.

For media enquiries contact 0753 194 8014.

Key outputs of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership (2018-2022):

  • 908 people trained in rural skills
  • Over 1000 people attending 180 well-being sessions
  • 57 schools, 160 school sessions, and 10,000 parents, carers, children and young people engaged in a variety of sessions and settings
  • 100 arts events, attended by 6300 people
  • 3369 people engaging creatively with more than 46 artists, delivering commissions for The Gatherings and Pendle Radicals projects combined
  • 1930 volunteer days contributed
  • 18 hectares of peatland and 5ha of woodland restored, 19 ha of woodland created
  • 6km of hedge and 1km of wall restored; 5km of routes created or repaired

Photo shows: Selina Ellis-Gray with a printed story-map of all the Pendle Hill Landscape Projects.

Pendle Grammar by Seán Hewitt, winner of the 2021 Laurel Prize for poetry

This is a place where language

could be made anew. In the damp field –

mist, a cow lowing with the cold,

the red house with the golden clarion

On the weathervane turning slowly,

turning again, seeking its direction,

its steady thrilling sureness. Place

of visions and clear water, fresh

with weather; place of gatherings

where the loose lines of talk have weaved

over years into plots, and we walk up

into it, knees quaking from the climb,

the peat regrowing, knitted back

like a blanket over the hill. A clear day

above the clouds, so there’s a light

you don’t know is there until you walk up

into it, into the big collective dream

over the towns where the sun and cloud

and weather all unite then rebel, revolt

and tumble down, shaking themselves

out through a new grammar spoken

here by suffragists and socialists

and preachers; not his, or hers, or theirs

but something else: the hill’s hill, the water’s

water, the path-making shift

up Pendle tells us how to call it:

the land, the history of it, no longer

his, or hers, or theirs, but ours.


Notes to Editors

  • The Pendle Hill landscape partnership is led by the Forest of Bowland AONB.
  • The partnership aims to:
  1. restore, enhance and conserve the heritage and landscape of Pendle Hill
  2. reconnect people with their past and their landscape

III. bring the two sides of the hill together

  1. create a sustainable future for the environment, heritage and for visitors’ experience of Pendle Hill
  • The scheme was awarded a National Lottery grant of £1.8million by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in January 2018. 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. We will do this by providing opportunities for training and volunteering; by supporting research and devising creative and digital interpretation to inspire a new generation about our heritage; by restoring important landscape features, and by working with communities to re-tell the stories of radical Pendle people. The scheme will increase pride in this special place and raise aspirations amongst communities, and it will bring in new investment to support the environment and the economy.
  • The Pendle Hill landscape partnership is supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Fund and by the Forest of Bowland AONB. 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.
  • Projects will be delivered by the AONB team, plus local delivery partners including In –Situ Arts, the Dry Stone Walling Association, Mid Pennine Arts and Ribble Rivers Trust.
  • The 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: it 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 contact the LP Scheme Manager on 07891 537835 / 01200 420420
  • Visit the project website at or visit our Facebook page ‘Pendle Hill Project’ for up to date news and views.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Heritage Lottery Pendle

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

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Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK.

For media enquiries contact 0753 194 8014