A FOLKLORE festival which coincides with the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials is being billed as the “biggest and most accessible yet”.

For the past seven years, the Pendle Witch Camp and Folklore Festival has taken place close to the summer solstice in the village of Trawden.

With the historic four-century anniversary of the Lancaster Castle trials, and subsequent executions, almost upon us, organisers are hoping to make the four-day event more accessible to the wider community.

Organiser Adrian Lord said: “We’re hoping for a family-friendly camping event, offering entertainment to all those with an interest in folklore, local history, the arts, and culture.

“This year’s event will feature talks, music, complementary and holistic therapies, drumming, theatre, story-telling, stalls, cafes and plenty of children’s activities.

“There will also be a solstice ceremony, to herald the beginning of summer, conducted by author and shaman, Runic John, a practitioner of a form of Northern European Shamanism,” added Adrian.

The Pendle Witch Camp will be held between June 15 and June 18 on land in the heart of the village, close to The Trawden Arms.

The camp will also play host to Ursula Holden-Gill, best known for her role as cancer sufferer Alice Dingle in TV soap Emmerdale.

She has written a play, inspired by the story of the Pendle Witches, called The Secret Map of Pendle, which will be performed during the festival.

She has previously written a song, called The Pendle Witch Song, and has a long-standing interest in the subject.

Tania Ahsan will lead the programme of talks and workshops.

Mark ‘Zero’ Fox is organising music at the festival, gathering an array of acoustic folk musicians to perform.

Adrian added that other events for the camp are still in the planning stage.

Earlybird tickets for the 2012 event are available from the festival’s website.

*On Tuesday, the managing director of Burnley-based Moorhouses Brewery launched a camptain to gain an official pardon for the Pendle Witches during the 400th anniversary year.