PEOPLE living on both sides of Pendle Hill could be brought together under a £2.24million pioneering partnership being promoted by local councils.

Environmental campaigners are looking to unite Pendle and Ribble Valley communities, on either side of the historic landscape, with the help of an ambitious bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Not only will the initiative look to use the latest digital technology, to create smartphone-friendly ‘honeypot’ hubs, detailing the landmark’s history and benefits, but supporters will aim to carry out plenty of physical work on the ground.

Dry stone walls and hedgerows, which may have become eroded due to the hill’s enduring popularity, will be restored and it is hoped that families who have farmed the uplands for generations can play a key role.

The hill’s well-known association with the Pendle Witches will be an important theme, as will the leisure pursuits such as cycling, rambling and dry-slope skiiing, for which the area is now famed.

Radicals inspired by the landscape, from Quakers’ founder George Fox to Richard Cobden and Thomas Leonard, who established the Independent Labour Party, should also feature.

Villagers either side of the 557-metre high landmark, from Barley, Roughlee and Newchurch in Pendle to Sabden, Sabden Fold and Chatburn on the Ribble Valley side, will be encouraged to devise their own heritage projects through a new Pendle Hill Fund.

A spokesman for the newly-formed Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership said: “Each of these elements has two sides – the physically different two sides of the hill, its divided economy, and the variety of people who live, work in and visit the area.

“Our proposal is to weave together the two sides of each element with a creative approach, building cohesion, introducing dialogue and creating shared points of view.”

Supported by the separate borough councils and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty unit, the programme team would be based out of Whitehough Education Centre in Barley.

Beyond the Heritage Lottery Fund, other possible backers include Rural Development Programme England, Natural England’s New Environmental Land Management Scheme and the Arts Council.

If the funding comes together for the project the landscape partnership will begin work in November 2015.