News & Events
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The Good Life Flax Project 2022
In partnership with Super Slow Way’s Homegrown/Homespun project the Good Life project piloted growing flax in Pendle in 2022 with great success!!!
This project provided opportunities for our volunteers to grow a crop, harvest it and be involved in the process of turning the flax into a piece of linen fabric.
- On the 20th April we prepared the soil and sowed flax seeds in a raised bed and woad seeds into seed trays. Germination was slow and patchy initially but by June the flax and woad were growing well.
- 13th July purple poppies growing amongst the blue flax made a beautiful display.
We harvested the flax on 11th August. Harvesting involves pulling the stems by hand so the whole plant, roots and all come up. Loose soil is easily shaken off and the next stage is retting or rotting the outer stems.
The flax can be left on the ground to dew ret (rot) but needs turning frequently or laid in trays of water to rot the outer stem.
We left our flax in trays of water.
The next step is stooking, stacking a pile of flax and tying it into a bundle to dry. When the stems snap easily and the outer stem flakes off the fibre is ready for carding.
After carding with wool combs the flax is ready to spin. There was a lot of residue that could be processed further to extract the shorter lengths called tow but we didn’t have the time to do this. The process of producing the flax fibre ready for spinning.
This is the amount of flax that we produced from our 4 metre plot. The stems could have been retted longer and the stooks left to dry further. The stems that were at the perfect dryness snapped easily, shed the outer stem easily and produced long lengths of fibre.
Unfortunately our woad dying was not successful. We made the dye bath which produced the typical sherry red liquid and added washing soda and poured to increase the oxygen but the required blue colour was very pale and on adding spectrolite to produce the magical blue didn’t happen. We had a wishy washy blue, green, yellow colour but the process was demonstrated.
We dyed some of the flax with some blue dye and made a simple loom from a cardboard box. We had a go at weaving and wove all the fibre and produced our piece of linen!
We added some embroidery and backed the linen fabric onto a wall hanging.
Not exactly a pair of jeans and the finish is quite rough but we experienced the process from seed to fabric and learned a lot along the way.
Fantastic Results for PLT!
Following the production of Pendle Leisure Trust’s first Social Return on Investment report in April 2019, another one has been produced by an external evaluator – and again, demonstrates the value of Pendle Leisure Trust to Pendle.
After a difficult couple of years during the pandemic, this report shows the huge impact the Trust’s facilities and activities make to people’s lives.
A creative approach was undertaken to engage with customers and those who took part in the evaluation responded very positively.
The evaluator focused on three main categories to ask about changes to people which were the impact of physical health, mental health and social impact.
The results show the extra value, such as the social value and outcomes that the Trust makes to the residents of Pendle.
The stand-out results confirm that:
In addition to the headline stats, the feedback derived from carrying out this evaluation is really encouraging.
Quotes from customers include:
Eating The Canal
Eating the Canal is a project exploring the edible possibilities of The Super Slow Way Linear Park, a 20 mile stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal running from Blackburn to Pendle.
What has Pendle Leisure Trust been up to – and achieved – in the last 12 months?
How many people do you think visited our facilities between April 2021 and March 2022?
Do you know what we invested in?
Have you seen – or used – the new equipment and unique functional training suite we have had installed?
All the facts, figures and notable achievements have been compiled in our Annual Report.
Following a very challenging year, the Trust’s major accomplishment was to survive and achieve full business recovery following the COVID-19 Pandemic, which it did with support from our key partner Pendle Council.
Pendle’s premier leisure provider not only did this, but achieved so much more as well – including developments and investments across its facilities.
With physical and mental health and well-being at the forefront of everything it does, the Trust continues to deliver lifestyle improvement and wellness opportunities through a range of activities and services at its seven facilities throughout Nelson, Colne and Barnoldswick.
The Trust’s aim is also to be environmentally responsible and it achieved another positive step with a reduction in energy consumption in 2021/2022.
Alison Goode, Chief Executive of Pendle Leisure Trust, said: “Although times have been challenging these last couple of years, we survived and can be proud of what we have achieved.
“Now it’s a case of onwards and upwards to get us back to where we were just before the pandemic – in one of the best positions we had been in for years – and to plough ahead with some very exciting projects we have in the pipeline.”
Read all the facts and figures here.
We’ve created a video of our achievements – please take a look.