Scene 11 Pendle

Fells to Forests

Grindleton Fell with both bracken and trees looking towards Pendle with its usual cloud  (The Grindletonions were a form of Diggers

Much of the fell land was originally forest, till we cut it down several hundred years ago to build ships that could colonise the world for spices and exotic  foods.  But that land that was forest could today grow forests again, some of which could be used for biofuel and some for fruit and nuts. Not impossible. Afforesting (growing forest where once it grew) grouse moors would improve carbon footprint more than any other single action. But landowners are not going to like it. 

Pendle Forest was home of the infamous Pendle Witch hangings Pendle Witch Trial Trail)

But why don’t we offer these as carbon counting havens? This would be a whole lot more ethical use of carbon markets than grabbing land in Africa (more from Action Aid). We hear lots of famous people campaigning to save the Rainforests. Yet replacing the temperate forests doesnt get a mention. Yet here in this country it is much more in our control. But we, in England, do not seem to want to take on the vested interests of land ownership where a few hundred families still own a majority of the land. Whereas the Scottish Affairs Committee has launched a consultation on land ownership.

Forests on these hills need not be green slums of conifers, but could provide a lot in the way of nuts, which are also good for us. At present, because of EU CAP funding, already wealthy land owners receive vast sums of money for just 'looking after the land'. It means that the Duke of Westminster with hundreds of hectares of land round the Trough of Bowland, just north of here,

bowland harrier
received £6 million in subsidies over a 10 year period for producing what? Grouse (for more see BBC Panorama The Money Farmers ).

You are very unlikely to see much woodland, and even less likely to see any harriers as shown in the sign. Grouse take preference in these parts.