One of the few walks people choose to take on a windy day is the gentle ascent to an outdoor artwork affectionately called the Singing Ringing Tree. It is part of a series of artworks placed atop high points around Lancashire, called ‘Panopticons.’ This sculpture, which was chosen as one of 21 landmarks that define Britain in the 21st Century and also scooped the National Award for architectural excellence awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), was commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts alongside Atom, Colourfields and Halo.
This sculpture harnesses the natural environment to create music akin to the notes of an orchestra of wind instruments. The striking shape swooshes into a tall tree-like formation made of pipes. Designed in 2007 by Mike Tonkin & Anna Liu, who make up ‘Tonkin Liu’, and constructed from a twisting stack of galvanised steel tubes, the sculpture provides a little atmospheric zen as you look out over panoramic views of Burnley, Pendle Hill, Bowland Fells, Pendle (and if you’re lucky, the Yorkshire Three Peaks: Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Great Whernside will be visible as the clouds make way). On a fine day, press your ears against different pipes and you’ll still be able to experience the musical sounds of the tree, commonly described as ‘eerie’ or ‘ghostly’ by its visitors. Start your walk at Crown Point Car Park, on a road of the same name, this walk is about 700 metres in length and covers an elevation of 170 metres making it a nice and easy family friendly outing. If mountain biking is your idea of fun, you can start the climb from the New Waggoners Inn on Manchester Road – a bit more effort is required though! Pair this visit with a walk in Dunnockshaw Community Woodland which can be found 400 metres down the road from the car park with walking trails.