Halloween funding boost for home of Pendle Witches!

Pendle Hill at sunset Credit: Alastair Lee

The area around Pendle Hill has long been associated with the story of 10 local people accused of witchcraft during the 17th century. However, the area has a wide and fascinating heritage and the Pendle Hill Partnership is now set to help people gather and research this wealth of history, including the founding of the Quaker movement by George Fox.

Pendle Hill’s summit acts as a divide both geographically and socially to the communities who live on either side of it. The scheme, run by the Forest of Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), includes restoring important wildlife and landscape features and researching local stories helping to reconnect local people with their landscape. Formal skills apprenticeships will be available for 20 young people, four graduate trainees and one university student placement.

Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Pendle Hill is famous for its eerie past and tales of the witch trials draw in many visitors every year, especially at Halloween. But there’s a lot more to Pendle than just stories of witches and this project is designed to open up, preserve and share other parts of the areas incredible heritage including the founding of the Quaker movement by George Fox. The benefits of this project are far reaching and will offer a range of apprenticeships and trainee positions for local people helping to reconnect them to their natural heritage.

“Now in its eleventh year, our Landscape Partnership programme has revealed so many fascinating hidden histories as well as protecting many of our most breath-taking landmarks.  This has all been achieved thanks to National Lottery players.”

Hon. Ralph Assheton, Chair of the Pendle Hill LP Board, said: “Pendle Hill is part of our folk history, and an ever present backdrop to our lives. This investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund will help local communities to enjoy, explore and learn more about Pendle; and to take care of it for future generations.”

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Chair of the Forest of Bowland AONB partnership, said: “I am delighted to hear that the grant has been awarded. Pendle Hill is a vastly important part of the AONB and an area which is in great need of this new investment in the environment, in the economy and for everyone who enjoys living near to, or visiting, this much loved Lancashire landmark.”

The funding for Pendle comes as part of a wider UK-wide funding package of £28m - impacting 3,000km² of countryside – which will support urgent conservation work to the natural and built heritage, help reconnect local communities to where they live and create 50 new jobs and 6,000 paid training places.   

Notes to editors

HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants range from £100,000 to £3m. The next closing date for LP applications is 1 June 2016 for decisions in October 2016. 

HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme – which has now been running for over a decade - is the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects.To date, £146m has been invested in 86 different areas across the UK helping forge new partnerships between public and community bodies and ensuring people are better equipped to understand and tackle the needs of their local landscapes. Over its life-span, the LP programme has helped repair over 30 km of dry stone walls, enabled 150,000 people to participate in learning activities and helped more than 14,000 volunteers get involved – the equivalent of 20,000 working days.

More than 3,100 Land and Biodiversity projects have received over £1.2bn from HLF.

The areas benefiting from today’s HLF’s investment stretch from the Orkney Isles in Scotland to Penwith’s peninsula on the south western tip of mainland England – the areas funded include:

  • Water, Mills and Marshes – The Broads Landscape Partnership, Norfolk – £2.6m, including £226,000 development funding
  • ‘Our Picturesque Landscape’, Dee Valley, North East Wales - £1.4m, including £67,900 development grant
  • Callander’s Pass – Mind the Gap – Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland - £1.5m, including £119,600 development funding
  • ‘Elan Links – People, Nature & Water’, Mid Wales - £1.7m, including £85,900 development funding
  • ‘Living Levels’ Partnership, Gwent, South Wales - £2.8m, including £321,100 development funding
  • North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, Orkney Islands, Scotland – £3m, including £169,400 development funding
  • Lough Erne Landscape Partnership, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland – £2.9m, including £253,900 development funding
  • ‘Nenescape: Revealing the Hidden Stories of the Nene Valley’, Northampton - £2.8m, including £208,300 development funding
  • Brightwater Landscape Partnership, County Durham – £2.8m, including £223,100 development funding
  • ‘Revitalising Redesdale’, Northumberland - £1.8m, including £115,700 development funding
  • ‘First and Last – Our Living Working Landscape’, Penwith, Cornwall – £2.7m, including £140,600 development funding

Further information

HLF press office: Katie Owen on 020 7591 6036 / 07973 613 820 or Laura Bates on 020 7591 6027, email: lbates@hlf.org.uk.
Forest of Bowland AONB: Cathy Hopely on 01200 448 000 / 07891 537 835, email: cathy.hopley@lancashire.gov.uk.

Back to top of page