Silence, please, for ‘ghost’ walk

SILENT STEPS: 'Ghost Bird' creator Louise Ann Wilson in the Trough of Bowland
SILENT STEPS: 'Ghost Bird' creator Louise Ann Wilson in the Trough of Bowland
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WALKERS are being invited to join a weekend event that combines a nature walk with a Lancashire Witch trek and performance art ... and much of it will be in silence.

Made specifically for the Trough of Bowland, ‘Ghost Bird’ on September 15 and 16 has been commissioned for the Lancashire Witches 400 Project, which is supported by local authorities, The Arts Council, Lancaster University and Heritage Lottery.

The title refers to the ghostly grey feathers of the hen harrier, one of Britain’s rarest birds of prey, which has not been seen nesting in the Trough of Bowland this year.

The walk will cover a seven-mile route - part of the journey taken by the Pendle Witches in 1612 to Lancaster Castle - and the walkers will encounter live performance and art installation within the landscape.

It has been created by Lancaster-based Louise Ann Wilson, choreographed by Nigel Stewart of Sap Dance in Lancaster, and will be performed by dance artist Julia Griffin and a team of more than 30 life models.

Louise said: “The aims of Ghost Bird are to encourage an appreciation of the stunning upland landscape, an awareness of the hen harrier and the memory of the Pendle Witches, who trekked through the valley 400 years ago.”

She said an important part of ‘Ghost Bird’ would come from inviting people to enjoy sections of the walk in silence, taking in the natural soundscape of the wind, water and wildlife.

“The atmosphere of the walking route is very charged. There you can look, listen and reflect on the environment around you,” she said.

The walk is largely un-guided, so walkers can explore in their own time.

Walkers can set out on the route between 11am and 3pm, and the journey lasts about three hours.

The event is free but people must register their interest in advance and indicate the size of their party by emailing ghostbird@louiseannwilson.com

People with special access needs should discuss them with the company as soon as possible, and all children must be accompanied by adults.

Ghost Bird sets off from a car park near Dunsop Bridge and covers a strenuous walking route, over rough and exposed terrain. Audiences should dress for the weather and sturdy footwear is essential.

For more information on Lancashire Witches 400, visit www.lancashirewitches400.org