The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £2m to improve the landscape around Pendle Hill in the Forest of Bowland and establish a research group into the history of the area.
Pendle Hill has long been associated with 17th-Century witch trials. The Pendle Hill Partnership has been set up to help people gather and research the heritage of the area, including the founding of the Quaker movement by George Fox.
The scheme, run by the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, includes restoring important wildlife and landscape features around the Pendle summit and researching local stories to reconnect local people with the landscape.
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.
Sara Hilton, head of the 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 area’s 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 breathtaking landmarks. This has all been achieved thanks to National Lottery players.”