The South Pennines offers two-wheeled thrills alongside a window into the area’s historical and ecological importance.
Worsthorne Moor, above Burnley, has been the site of a large project, which has not only seen the restoration of internationally important heather and peatland, but also the installation of Hurstwood Reservoir Mountain bike Trail.
Lancashire County Council and United Utilities have been working together as part of the Watershed Landscape project, managed by Pennine Prospects, which has transformed Worsthorne Moor, in the South Pennines, into a haven for wildlife, walkers and mountain bikers.
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, Cabinet Member for Environment, Planning and Cultural Services said: “I am delighted with the very positive feedback the County Council has received from people using the new mountain bike trail at Hurstwood. It serves to show that by working in partnership with Pennine Prospects and United Utilities we have created a fantastic facility for the people of Burnley and Lancashire.”
Dave Oyston, United Utilities Central Area Ranger said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Pennine Prospects and Lancashire County Council on the Watershed Landscapes project around Worsthorne and Hurstwood. This work is complementing the large scale habitat and landscape restoration work being carried out under the Sustainable Catchment Management (SCaMP) project which has been funded by United Utilities and Natural England. The Mountain Bike trail is proving a very popular venue for novices and seasoned bikers alike.”
Robin Gray, of Pennine Prospects, explained: “As part of this project we have recently installed a number of information boards to tell people what this area has to offer, including a window into the area’s fascinating historical links to the Towneley family of Burnley as well as its links to the agricultural and industrial revolutions of the last 400 years. The area is excellent for walkers and now mountain bikers with the recent opening of the mountain bike trail, which is about a kilometre long and is aimed at beginners and improvers. It’s been well received and has been filmed by enthusiasts for You Tube. These large projects have also included the refurbishment of Maiden Cross car park, with embankments, hidden walls, traditional dry stone walling and the planting of native species to improve the habitat for endangered ground nesting birds and to help restore the internationally important peatland,” Robin added.
Funding for the Watershed Landscape project is provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the South Pennines LEADER programme (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects.