MEMBERS of the Hoddlesden Millennium Green committee were celebrating today after receiving £4,000 for the creation of history and nature trails on the site.

Organisers appealed for help from residents last year in a bid to raise enough money to continue with the upkeep of the green after initial interest dwindled.

Now their prayers have been answered with a grant from the National Lottery Awards for All.

The cash will go towards creating both a nature trail and history trail, as well as the upgrade of the footpaths around the green.

And people are being invited to join in development of the scheme by relating memories of the site and digging out any old documents which could be used as part of the history trail.

Hoddlesden Millennium Green opened in September 2000 and was one of the biggest millennium projects in the North West.

It received £42,000 -- half of the total cost -- as part of a programme led by the Countryside Agency and supported by £10million Lottery money for the Millennium Commission.

The community-managed green space was so successful it was presented with a Green Pennant Award from the Civic Trust in 2003, as well as a Lancashire Evening Telegraph Grimewatch Award in 2001 and an award for services to the environment by Darwen Civic Trust in 2002.

It is hoped the latest cash boost will further improve the site and renew people's interest in it.

Committee secretary Bert Clark said: "It's good news for us. We did get some response from the appeal in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph but we decided at Christmas to try to get funding from the lottery.

"There's quite a lot of history on that site, which used to be Places Pipeworks.

"The edge of the green is also on what was the old Saxon Road. Before Hoddlesden was a village two roads ran through this area, one was the Roman Road and the other the Saxon Road.

"We have some documentation as to the area's history but are hoping for more.

"We are also hoping to upgrade the footpaths for wheelchair users and are looking for a pyrographer to help make signs.

"These are the people who burn words into wood in a similar way to engraving on other material.

"Lancashire Wildlife Trust advised us to cut down some trees to make way for others so we are wanting to make use of the logs for new natural signs."