The summit of Pendle Hill

The summit of Pendle Hill

Police are appealing to Halloween revellers to stay away from a hill noted for its 17th century witch trials.

Pendle Hill in Lancashire has become a hotspot for thousands of visitors over the past few years, but police say this is now causing problems.

A spokesperson said the Ribble Valley Event Safety Advisory Group is coordinating a plan to control access to Pendle Hill following concerns expressed about the growth of the event, heavy traffic, alcohol-related disorder and the use of fireworks.

Agencies agreed the hill is not suitable for these types of activities involving such large numbers of people.

The main focus for previous gatherings has been the south-western slopes around the Nick of Pendle, and the road between the A59 at Clitheroe and the village of Sabden.

Lancashire Constabulary said the hill will be closed to parked cars, fairground rides and catering vehicles between 5pm on 31 October and 3am the following day.

Inspector Chris Saville said: “As with previous years, it has been necessary to take these precautions to ensure the public remain safe on Pendle Hill this Halloween.

“Previous policing operations have been extremely successful with significant reductions in incidents of both anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.”

A one-way system will be in place on the road over the Nick of Pendle, with traffic barred from using the road from Sabden. Half of the road will be coned off to allow pedestrians to walk to the celebrations, and specialist units will be on hand to remove any parked cars, fairground rides and catering vans.

Local residents will receive leaflets about the restrictions, which have the backing of Sabden Parish Council.

The 557m (1,827ft) Pendle Hill is surrounded by villages capitalising on the notorious witch trials in 1612, which led to the hanging of 10 women and men convicted of acts of witchcraft.