A FORMER headteacher who wrote a successful book about the West Pennine moors has died.

David Clayton, 77, who wrote Lost Farms of Brinscall Moors, died in the early hours of August 29 following months of ill health.

Two years ago Mr Clayton, who lived in Brinscall, appeared on the BBC’s Countryfile talking about his book published in 2011.

Mr Clayton who had mainly taught in Burnley, had spent two years researching and writing his book which uncovered the story of why the community living on the hills and moors above Brinscall abandoned their homes in the early 20th century.

He led scores of people on walks around the ruins of the abandoned farms and also gave many talks about his book after its publication.

Mr Clayton, who had lived in Brinscall since 1965, was born in Horwich and was educated at Anderton County Primary School, near Chorley, and Bolton School.

He graduated from Merton College, Oxford, and taught at Hayward Grammar School, Bolton.

For 17 years Mr Clayton was head at Habergham High School, Burnley and before that was deputy head at Burnley Grammar School.

His close friend Paul Jennings who taught with him in Burnley said: “He was passionate about teaching and about his students, he wanted what was best for them.”

Until recently he was president of the Bolton branch of the Historical Association.

He was a keen walker and had completed all 214 Wainwright fells in Cumbria. He was also a member and former chairman of the Brixi Singers chamber choir. The date of his funeral has not been set.