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Whittlefield Canal Side Improvements, Lancashire

Whittlefield Canal Side Improvements, Lancashire


This project is now complete – thank you to everyone for the support!


Finally – the finishing touches to the Whittlefield project have at last come together! The new information board below has been installed along the tow path – doesn’t it look great? We’re really pleased.  Many thanks again to all the partners that have been involved – Stepping Stones, Canal and Rivers Trust and the main funder of this project,  Lancashire Environment Fund

Interpretation board 03.07.16


The final pieces of the project are finally being delivered – thanks for all your hard work Raven Forge. The interpretation should be going in very soon. Fingers crossed it will all be complete by the end of Summer. Thanks for your patience everyone!


The completed and installed mural along the Leeds Liverpool Canal in the Whittlefield area of Burnley. Really chuffed with it, looks fantastic.

Big thanks to everyone involved – artist Lucy Thrift and Action Factory, Stepping Stone Projects,  Canal & River Trust, Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, staff and residents at Crow Wood Court, councillors at Burnley Borough Council, and engineers at Lancashire County Council. And of course, funders Lancashire Environmental Fund and Awards for All.

Completed mural


The mural being laid out ready for installation!!! Thanks to Lucy at Thrift Design, Lancashire Environmental Fund and Canal & River Trust 

Mural      Mural 2


There have been some delays to work on site through various issues, though works have been slowly continuing behind the scenes.

Young people from Stepping Stones and volunteers from the Canal & River Trust worked very hard during the autumn to repair and stain a section of fence on the towpath which has made a huge improvement to the appearance of the area.

The mural which will be installed underneath the bridge at Pendle Way is complete and is now awaiting installation. Big thanks to Lucy at Action Factory ( for working so hard to get this finished – can’t wait to see it installed

18.09.14 (11)


Since 2013, we have invested £109,460 worth of funding into Burnley – this is an average of £54,730 per year since we started working in the area. Click on the link below to find out more

Local Authority Area case study – Burnley



To read the latest press release regarding this project, click on the link below

Whittlefield News Release 8.8.14


The improvement works are starting on site in mid July and should be completed in September. The project will also include installation of artwork designed by the local community, working alongside artists Action Factory

Click the link below to view all the projects we have delivered, in partnership with Lancashire County Council, since 2012 (via the Central Gateway Scheme)

Client study Lancashire County Council


Young residents at Stepping Stones worked like the clappers today planting 3 trees along the canal side at Whittlefield, Burnley – in the pouring rain as well! A big thanks to everyone for their efforts today. Linda is reviewing the AQA assessments as we speak. Good luck guys! Thanks to all our partners who are involved in this project – Burnley Borough Council, Calico Group, Canals & River Trust, Lancashire Environmental Fund, Terra Firma and Awards for All.

Tree 2  Tree 3



This project, funded by Lancashire Environment Fund, aims to improve an area of land, walkway and canal side which is currently neglected and in need of upgrading. The young people at Stepping Stones, Burnley are undertaking their AQA training in planting shrubs and trees. Today, we planted pear trees on a steep embankment – this took a great deal of effort to remove the rocks and stones and the young people showed real team work to get the job done. It was a lovely, sunny day and the daffodils and crocus that the young people had previously planted, were in full bloom. A great day.

Whittlefield 12.3.2014



Another AQA bulb planting session today with the young people from Stepping Stones, Burnley, the neighbourhood watch chairman and the community team from Proffitts. Great progress being made!


AQA bulb planting session - Dec 2013



The young people at Stepping Stones, Burnley are currently undertaking their AQA training in bulb planting and maintenance. Working with the neighbourhood watch co- ordinator, Tony Moores, and the Proffitts Community team a planting session was held yesterday – with fantastic results. Well done all!



Attached is a video from the Lancashire Environmental Fund which shows a selection of projects that they have helped to fund this year. It includes a short clip of our Whittlefield project too (it’s 12 minutes and 45 seconds into the video) 27.9.2013 Today’s bird box and insect house building session went really well. Several young people attended from Stepping Stones and they helped the residents at Crow Wood build an impressive 20 bird boxes and 10 insect houses. Lots of fun was had by all!



The next community session at Crow Wood Court will be held on Friday 27 September. From 2-4pm we will be making bird boxes and insect houses for Crow Wood, Stepping Stones and the area to the rear of the canal. Refreshments will be provided. Please come along and show your support!



Residents of Crow Wood Court were joined by the local community to enjoy a local history afternoon on the 10th April. Exploring how the Whittlefield area has changed and transformed through the years provoked many a memory and the room was soon alive with the buzz of shared conversations. Mr Roger Frost, a prominent local historian, gave an interesting, humorous talk about the impact of the Leeds Liverpool canal in Burnley and this was enjoyed by all. Young people from the Stepping Stones organisation helped out providing a welcome cup of tea for all those who came. 12.07.13 Planting and Community Design Afternoon. What a great turnout! Lucy from the Action Factory showcased the designs so far and residents from Calico Sheltered Housing and Stepping Stones helped with the hanging baskets! Thanks to all that attended – including Tony (local neighbourhood watch!) and John from Burnley Metal Craft Ltd


Success! We have been succesful in raising just under £10,000 from Awards for All and £30,000 from Lancashire Environment Fund! Many thanks to the funders. We hope to be meeting with partners in the next 2 weeks or so to set the budget and work towards implementing the project on the ground. Stay tuned.



The Big Tidy Up took place with great success, with over 15 volunteers taking part. Proffitts wish to thank all those involved including the stepping stones staff and residents, other local residents and British Waterways staff and volunteers, and of course thanks to Lancashire County Council for the intitial funding through the Green Partnership Award. Look at the pictures to the right to get an idea of what was achieved! Next step is to apply for funding for the grander plan. Fingers crossed!



Young People from Stepping Stones successfully applied to Lancashire Green Partnership Awards for £500 so they could have a Big Tidy Up.  On the 4th March, from 12 noon, there will be a Big Tidy Up in and around the Spa Mill site.  Volunteers from Burnley’s Canal Communities Project will be helping too.   We’re really hoping some of the local residents will come and get involved as well and as a reward for all the hard work there will be food and refreshments served at Spa Mill at 3pm.

Also on display will be the plans that have been produced in response to the consultation questionnaire that was distributed last year.  The Big Tidy Up is an excellent opportunity to let us know what you think of these plans and learn how you can get more involved with the project.

23.08.11 – A plan is now available based on residents thoughts through a questionnaire which was produced. Please click on the link. Feel free to let us know what you think!


Great improvements were made the the surroundings of the Whittlefield Canal with the help of young people and local residents in March 2012 on Clean Up Day! The action taken was made possible with a 500 pound grant received from the Green Partnership Award. More than 50 bags of rubbish were disposed of so well done to everyone who participated! See before and after photos on the right to view the fantastic improvements made already to the area.
More great news is that 40000 pounds worth of further funding has been received from the Lancashire Environmental Fund and from Awards For All, enabling the project to kick off in the spring. The news made the Burnley Express on the 26th of Feburary ( see the news section of our web to access the full article).
Transformation can now begin around the area with the participation of the Stepping Stone and Calico Housing Associations. Activity workshops and sessions will soon be held for bird and insect box building, mural artwork and bulb planting and participants will research the content of information boards for the area. Those who help to carry out physical improvements to the area will receive qualifications and awards to accredit their skills. This project is providing an opportunity the local youngsters and residents the chance to get involved in a community project and make much needed improvements to their local area and gain important work skills and qualifications at the same time!

The project aims to improve an area of land, walkway and canal which is currently neglected, through the involvement of the local community in developing ideas and putting their local stamp on the site. The project hopes to recruit young volunteers from the stepping stones building. Young people who originally brought this project to our attention.  From an initial meeting with a young person’s representative the following ideas were put forward as to how the land in question could be improved:

  • Litter pick – There is currently a build-up of litter on the banking on the same side as the stepping stones building with a litter trap, preventing easy access and responsibility of clearance. The young people hope to clear the area and in some way, maybe through education and a sense of pride ensure residents don’t litter the area again.
  • Rubbish removal from the canal – Again there is a build-up of rubbish; large material this time with trolleys, tyres and possibly electrical goods. The young people hope to work with British Waterways in removing these items.
  • Boundary Improvements – There is currently a wall which is falling into disrepair, the wall separates the canal from the banking and is being eroded through tree erosion (roots). It is intended to repair the wall and remove any interfering vegetation. There is maybe a possibility of erecting / replacing a fence to the top of the wall.
  • Tree thinning – Currently a band of large trees separate the stepping stones centre from the view of the canal. It is envisaged that these trees can be thinned with the guidance of a qualified tree surgeon. In doing this views would be improved and the residents in the stepping stones building would feel a part of their local environment.
  • The project will extend to under a bridge where there is currently some graffiti. We hope to work with the young people, local schools maybe and residents to organise and art project which will represent local people, their background and future. We hope to employ an artist who will encourage inspiration and dedication in this element of the project.
  • Bulb planting – The young people hope to put finishing touches to the project through planting wildflowers and bulbs along the existing path and within the wooded area to brighten up the area and encourage wildlife to this spot.
  • Site furniture – The area is well used with many passers-by, from local residents, dog walkers, school children and families all making use of the existing path. It is hoped to place some seating, dog bins and litter bins along the main thoroughfare to encourage good use and respect to the proposed improvements
  • Interpretation – There is much local history and interesting wildlife in the area that remains undiscovered to local people and young people. It is hoped to work with a handful of young people on a mini project to design and research the content of the interpretation board and then work towards getting it made up using an appropriate company,

All of the above ideas stem from the local stepping stones residents. It is hoped that through the continued involvement of the local young people in the delivery of the project that they will receive some formal accreditation for the work they have done and maybe some inspiration and ideas of what employment opportunities are available to them through laising with landscape architects, contractors, environmentalists, historians, artists, tree surgeons, project managers, graphic designers and youth workers etc.


We are holding a Local History Afternoon at Crow Wood Court which will include a presentation by Roger Frost (local historian) regarding the history of the Whittlefield Canal area. All those who are interested are welcome to come along for a chat and a cup of tea!

Whittlefield plan design