Path maintenance partnership: Pendle Ramblers and Pendle Borough Council

Rich in remnants of the textile industry, the countryside surrounding Pendle’s towns such as Colne, Nelson and Barnoldswick is a walker’s haven. Its almost 1,700 footpaths open up Pendle’s varied landscapes of woods, moors, fields, historic towns, villages, and farms. Pendle is also well known for its Witch folklore and the 45-mile Pendle Way winds its way through the countryside, way marked with special wooden signs depicting a flying witch on a broomstick. 


Joining forces 

In 2022 the Pendle Ramblers path maintenance team, led by Mark Chung, joined forces with Pendle Borough Council Countryside Access Officer, Tom Partridge. Whether it’s installing new gates, rehanging existing gates, fixing wobbly posts, or repairing walls, there is a clear shared objective of identifying opportunities and finding solutions to improve the borough’s footpaths.   

For their part, Tom and Pendle Borough Council provide all the planning, tools and equipment needed and a thorough safety briefing for all involved. Mark and the rest of the Pendle Ramblers path maintenance team volunteer their time, energy, skills, and knowledge for free. On the day, Mark ensures a risk assessment is completed and that everyone has the correct personal protective equipment. Working together, both teams ensure that they have agreement from landowners to make the path improvements and that searches for underground and overground cables and pipes have taken place. 


Path improvements 

pendle ramblers new gate

In this example of the partnership’s work, an inaccessible footpath has been made accessible again. This popular footpath and permissive bridleway at the foot of Pendle Hill offers dramatic views of the surrounding landscape cris-crossed by ancient stone walls 


Collaborating for greater impact 

Tom Partridge first had the idea of working with volunteers came to him a few years ago when, with his footpath improvement budget exhausted he started carrying gate and stile replacements himself as the only way of getting the work done. He says “I met the first volunteer when I was I fellow volunteer on a tree planting project and invited him to come and help me with some of this work. Today we have a team of five volunteers, and we meet weekly. The volunteers have developed all the skills needed to carry out this work effectively. This has had a massive effect on freeing up my budget to spend on materials and other types of work.  Without the volunteers, this work simply wouldn’t happen”.  

Mark, who is also a trustee of the Ramblers, says “It is hard but very satisfying work, especially when members of the public contact the borough council to thank them. Making it easier to walk in our area will help more people from all our communities in Pendle get out and enjoy the same physical and mental benefits we do! If anybody wants to join in, please contact me”.

To contact Mark to volunteer your time in Pendle or to find out more about paths maintenance volunteering across England and Wales, email

3 men standing beside a new gate.

Rossendale Ramblers Footpath Fixers

Rossendale Ramblers work hard to keep local paths, tracks and trails open and accessible to as many people as possible.

People standing behind a new path gate in a field.

Path Accessibility Fund: Romsey, Hampshire

In Hampshire, local Ramblers volunteers helped create a new accessible route around Michelmersh with support from the Path Accessibility Fund.

Scenic landscape of river running through countryside

Our verdict on the UK government’s plan to boost access to nature

How does the UK government’s recent announcement on access to nature stack up?