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Ribble Valley Borough Council

John Smiths Park, Longridge

John Smiths Park, Longridge


John Smiths Orienteering Course and Sculpture Trail

John Smiths Playing Field is Ribble Valley Borough Council parkland with stunning views of the Forest of Bowland, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The playing fields have a varied and interesting past. In the early 1800's it was one of the many quarries in the area, stone from which was used for local buildings and major developments in Lancashire, such as the Harris Museum and the Railway Station in Preston. Evidence of this history is still visible in the park, e.g., quarry tunnels, a cast iron base of a crane, and glimpses of the quarry face. Once the quarry railway was dismantled the area was used as landfill before being landscaped into today's park. To find out more about the history within this thriving small town pick up a free 'Longridge Heritage Trails' leaflet available from Clitheroe Tourist Information Centre and selected venues in Longridge, including the Library.

By working with Longridge junior and senior youth club, Hillside School, ADA group and St Cecilia's Roman Catholic High School over a number of years this community facility has been developed to provide a local venue that encourages outdoor activity. These activities include a permanent orienteering course, nature and sculpture trails. The park now offers a more active and educational visit for families, local community groups, schools and tourists.

Artists Julie Miles and Martin Bednarczuk in collaboration with the community of Longridge have created original designs for signage and markers, transforming a simple orienteering course into an exciting and functional form of sculpture for the park. This creative solution also provides the general visitors to the park with a nature/sculpture trail to take in at their leisure.

Copies of the orienteering map are available for a small charge from Longridge Youth and Community Centre, Berry Lane, Longridge, tel: 01772 782909 and the Platform Gallery, Station Road, Clitheroe, tel: 01200 443071.

Supported by: Lancashire County Council Planning and Arts Units, the Local Strategic Partnership, Ribble Valley Borough Council, The Association of Ribble Valley Rural Youth Groups and The Longridge Partnership.