Pendle in running for tourism awards

Pendle Hill
Pendle Hill

The Pendle Sculpture Trail and the Pendle Witches Festival are finalists in the Lancashire Tourism Awards for 2013.

Coun. Paul White said: “It’s a great coup for Pendle to be up for awards for two important tourism projects which marked the 400th anniversary of the infamous trial of the Pendle Witches.

“It’s been the biggest field ever of applicants so it’s good news that we are among the finalists.

“I think we deserve to win!”

The sculpture trail is shortlisted for a cultural venue award and also for a visitor attraction award.

The permanent sculpture trail in Aitken Wood near Barley was created by four acclaimed Northern artists and was inspired by the Pendle Witches.

The lead artist, Philippe Handford from Higherford, made striking tree arch sculptures in the heart of the wood which overlooks Pendle Hill.

He said: “It’s a pleasant surprise to be up for two awards and be among the finalists!

“It was a challenging project. I was working on my own in the wood in all weathers during one of our wettest periods!

“But it was an inspirational place to be and I think we’ve created something quite unique.

“Even people from overseas have contacted me to say they love the sculptures.”

Pendle Council’s Tourism Officer Mike Williams took a lead role working on the sculpture trail and the witches festival, working with organisations like Pendle Leisure Trust and Mid Pennine Arts.

He said: “The festival included an exciting programme of events from history talks and walks and art events including the international artist Paula Rego’s Pendle Witches Series exhibition.

“Everyone in the community became involved, from artists to walks leaders, from councillors to tourist guides, from attractions managers to pop bands!

“The festival attracted people by their thousands, brought international journalists to Pendle and included a successful Guinness Book of World Records attempt for the largest gathering of people dressed as witches!”

The award winners will be announced at the Lancashire Tourism awards at Blackburn Cathedral on November 7th.