BOSSES behind a scheme to improve the area around Pendle Hill have said the project is making good progress.

At a recent meeting of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Board key activities set to be included in the scheme were revealed.

These include training in hedge laying and dry stone walling, restoration of habitats at risk, building a stone shelter for walkers, repairing footpaths and installing a kissing gate at the summit of Pendle Hill.

The programme is currently estimated to cost £2.4million and is set to start being delivered next year.

It will be run over four years creating five full-time jobs and 20 apprenticeships.

Cathy Hopley, Pendle Hill development officer, said: “The aim is to reconnect local people with their countryside. Pendle Hill is iconic.

"It’s the backdrop to many people’s lives.

“The project aims to preserve its history, investigate its archaeology, restore natural features, create jobs, support skills such as dry stone walling, and recognise Pendle Hill’s place in pioneering industry, religion and radicalism.

“The hill is an icon, too, for walking and health, not just for visitors but also for people who live in surrounding towns as well as villages and hamlets.”

Pendle Hill stands at 557 metres tall and is famed for the Pendle witch trials of the 17th century.

Other key activities set out at the Sabden Bowling Club meeting included working with the NHS mental health team to provide supported visits to the area for people dealing with social isolation.

The project will also seek to train and place 10 to 20 young people seeking a career in heritage industries with local employers.

September is the deadline for submitting projects.

The board is made up of representatives from Lancashire County Council, Pendle Borough Council, Ribble Valley Borough Council, farmers, landowners and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Forest of Bowland AONB submitted a funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £1.8million in 2015.

The remaining £600,000 will be raised from partners including the AONB Partnership, statutory bodies including Natural England and Environment Agency, European Rural Development Programme funding, Landfill tax funds, local businesses and other grants.