This project is now complete – thank you to everyone for the support!


Some minor additional works will be taking place before Christmas to plant additional shrubs along the boundary fence heading west from Rakehead Lane. It is hoped these works will take no more than a day or two and cause minimal disruption to residents and path users.

The completed path has been well used throughout the summer and we hope this will continue through into winter – we want it to be used all year round by local people.

Thanks to Whitworth Council for including details of the Routes Around Rossendale project in their latest newsletter
Whitworth Valley News Dec 14
We weren’t winners unfortunately 🙁 but a huge congratulations to Ulnes Walton Bridleways – a fantastic project deserving of an award!
Exciting day today – the Routes Around Rossendale project is up for a nomination at the Lancashire Environmental Fund Awards. Keep your fingers crossed!!
We listened and we took action! click on the link below for a pdf version of the Routes Around Rossendale leaflet  – click, print and enjoy 🙂
All the construction and snagging items have now been completed and the path is really well used 🙂 We have received very positive comments from users, in particular those who were unable to use the path before restoration, due to the steep gradients and muddy path surfaces. See the latest pic below – looking good!
RAR July 2014
This project is now complete apart from a couple of snags. These include painting the iron bridge on Rakehead Lane and laying the road markings on Rakehead Lane – these should be completed by July. The Japanese knotweed is also being treated – this is ongoing!
A jam packed week preparing for the Stacksteads Cycle Way launch this Saturday – it’s going to be a great day!!! Keep an eye out on this page for photos 🙂 The mayor will be paying us a visit too 🙂
Some great coverage from the Free Press this week!!
RAR - Free Press 10.4.2014
Stubbylee Community Greenhouses hosted another AQA workshop this week – ‘Hedge Laying’ – with another practical session using traditional countryside skills. The group learned how to cut the upright stems using a billhook, laying and weaving the Pleachers, and staking using hand cut tree pegs. A fascinating and informative session in the sunshine once more. (The workshops are part of the Routes Around Rossendale project, funded by Natural England, Paths for Communites and the Lancashire Environmental Fund).
Hedge laying
As part of the Routes Around Rossendale project (funded by Natural England, Paths for Communites and the Lancashire Environmental Fund), Stubbylee Community Greenhouses hosted another AQA Hedge planting/laying workshop this week. The workshop continues from the previous sessions, focusing on maintenance of a hedge. Led by Souta Creagh (Stubbylee Manager), the group thinned a mature hedge in preparation for staking and laying the hedge. It was a very informative workshop using traditional countryside management skills.
RAR hedge planting


Great to be included in the Paths for Communities latest newsletter – click here to read  P4C News winter 14



The third AQA Hedge planting workshop at Stubbylee Community Greenhouses was attended by 10 people. The session focused on weed control, ground clearance and maintenance of a hedge – another informative, engaging session!



Thank you for your continued support on this project. We are getting there! We are pleased to confirm that we have successfully lead guided walks, guided horse rides, children have learnt how to cycle, passed their Bikeability Level 1 Award, 10 people have gained the Outdoor First Aid qualification, the loop paths have all been finalised and are ready to be way-marked, the leaflet and website page is slowly coming together, the new multi user path between Rakehead Lane & Blackwood Rd is nearing completion but now we need a little bit of help!
We have over 450 whips & shrubs to plant along the new multi user path – can you spare an hour or two to help?  We’d appreciate any support. Note the site is still very muddy – wellies & waterproofs are recommended!
See link below for details – thank you 🙂


Routes Around Rossendale project – Guided Rides report – February 2014

Dam Top Riding Centre, Rawtenstall has completed five guided rides as part of the Routes Around Rossendale project. Funded by Natural England’s ‘Paths For Communities programme’ and the Lancashire Environmental Fund, this project aims to encourage people to explore the countryside on their doorstep in Rossendale.  In total, 20 riders took part in the rides through January and February, taking in the Irwell Valley (Horncliffe) route, Dearden Clough (The Plunge) and Whitegates (Maden Road) bridleways.

There has been fantastic feedback from those who took part:

The Whitegates ride

“It was physically challenging and really tested my riding skills.  It was also extremely varied – as we were in built up areas one minute and shining countryside the next…”

‘” I had a good time on the Whitegates ride.  I thought I knew Rossendale, but this ride showed me places I didn’t know existed.  Around every corner there was a new view.  It was a unique way to see the area…”

“The terrain was demanding and varied with wonderful open views of the countryside round Rossendale – which take on a totally different perspective when on a horse!”

The ‘Irwell Valley’ Ride

“Even the sewage works looks interesting as you approach the railway level crossing and river at Irwell Vale coming from Edenfield!”

“We had an exhilarating canter through the beautiful woods on the way to Strongstry”

From the children and young people  on the rides to the Plunge

“We started in sunshine and came home in a mini-blizzard!”

“Enjoyed the canter up to Windy Harbour on the bridle path above Horncliffe”

“From Gin Croft Lane I could see right across the valley to my house in Chatterton!”

“I love riding Ruby.  She is not too strong, but loves being in the countryside and out of the arena”

“The track through the quarry past Horncliffe Farm was a bit scary – but exciting”

Whitegates, (Maden Road)  Irwell Valley (Dearden Clough woods) 4

The Plunge (Horncliffe Top) 7



Great news – one person has passed their Bikeability Level 1 Award – and 5 people have learned how to ride a bike – well done!!



As part of the Routes Around Rossendale project (funded by Natural England, Paths for Communites and the Lancashire Environmental Fund) we held our second AQA Hedge Planting workshop at Stubbylee Community Greenhouses. It was a very productive afternoon and we planted two mixed hedges. Ten people attended the session, the sun shone and we are all looking forward to the next session in two weeks time 🙂

AQA 2.1   AQA 2



Day 2 of the Outdoor First Aid course  – tired after a busy, but very informative and useful, two days. Ten people attended the course in total – including members of Stubbylee Community GreenhousesFriends of Valley of StonePeers Clough Packhorses, Proffitts and volunteers in the community. Today we practiced our skills in context (real life scenarios in outdoor situations) and completed our written tests. Thank you David and Ian from Lancashire First Aid Training Ltd.

First aid 1    First aid 2



A brilliant first day of a 2 day course in ‘Outdoor First Aid’, delivered by Lancashire First Aid Training Ltd. Areas covered today included: how to bandage and, safe airway position – all crucial, need to know stuff! Looking forward to day 2. All participants will receive a Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) certificate upon completion

Bandages           Safe airway position



Yesterday, another AQA planting workshop took place at Stubbylee Community Greenhouses in Bacup. Part of the ‘Routes around Rossendale’ project, this session was entitled ‘Planting a hedge with bare root sapling’. 10 people attended, along with Souta Creagh (Operations Manager). The group learn how to identify plant species from bare root whips, different parts of the plant, planning and assessing a location to plant a hedge, weed control, safe use of equipment and safety when working outdoors. All in all, another positive session!

4 Identifying tree species from bare rooted whips  10 assessing the site for planting



FREE Bike Skills sessions – February half term – don’t miss out!!

Bike sessions



40 people joined us for the walk this weekend around Bacup and Stacksteads – it was great to see so many new faces. A great 2 hour hike, finished with a hot pot lunch at Maddy’s cafe 🙂

Todays walk 2    Today's walk 3

Todays walk 1



New Path to link towns…..Rossendale Free Press

Free Press 23.01.14



Another fabulous guided walk at the weekend. Although it was bitterly cold, everyone had a great time. Lovely to see some new faces too!

RAR guided walk 12 Jan 14   RAR guided walk 12 Jan



Looking to burn off the seasonal excess? If so, why not join the Friends of Valley of Stone on a 7 mile guided walk (including old tracks, tramways and quarries!) with superb panoramic views. Meet at the Stacksteads car park (opposite the Rose n Bowl) at 12 noon on Sunday 12 January.

Forba poster



The first guided ride, led by FORBA (Forest of Rossendale Bridleways Association), took place on Sunday 8 December. As you can see from the photo, it was a beautiful ride around Haslingden and Rawtenstall. The second ride, for experienced riders, will be on Sunday 12 January. If you are interested, contact Chris Peat on 01254 386 459 or 07811 279 092. Alternatively, you can email mail@chrispeat.co.uk


forbafirstride 8.1.2014



The “Routes around Rossendale” project aims to encourage people to explore the countryside on their doorstep in Rossendale by foot, horse or bicycle. The project (which is funded by Natural England’s Paths For Communities Programme and Lancashire Environmental Fund) is to focused on refurbishing/ creating a new a multi user path (3 metres wide) along a section of disused railway in Stacksteads and signposting 8 circular paths on existing rights of way around Rossendale. A leaflet and web page will be produced, detailing the new path and loop routes, so that walkers, cyclists and horse-riders can make the most of Rossendale’s beautiful countryside and excellent facilities. As part of the process, guided walks and rides are being held between December 2013 and February 2014 to give newcomers confidence in the routes and in their abilities.

Several guided bridleway rides will be held in the coming weeks for different abilities of riders. Please watch this space for more news. The first ride for experienced riders will be on Sunday 8 December and will take in a recently refurbished byway in Rawtenstall and show people the way along Cribden Side, a notoriously difficult to find route. Festive mulled wine, soup and mince pies will be provided on return. The second ride for experienced riders will be on 12th January, route to be confirmed.

We are delighted to announce that £143,000 worth of funding has been secured for this project!! A huge thank you to Lancashire Environmental Fund and Paths for Communities/Natural England. This funding will be used to create multi user path routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It will also be used to ensure that the loop routes around the area will be ‘waymarked’ and improved where necessary. This is a fabulous project and we are encouraging as much community participation as possible (Guided walks, training with first aid, risk assessment, bike ability etc) so if you are interested, then please get in touch. This project, situated on an old railway line in Stacksteads, links directly to the park and will hopefully form part of the Rawtenstall Greenway. Works will commence in the next few weeks – we shall keep you updated with progress!